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" I now believe that the ultimate last seat of government on this great continent 
will be found somewhere within a circle or radius not very far from the spot on 
which I stand, at the head of navigation on the Mississippi River." 

W. H. Sewabd, Speech at St. Paul, 1860. 



f^ f ^ f 



Eutered according to Act of Congrcsg, in the year 1870, by 


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Maaeachusetts. 

University Press: Welch, Bigelow, & Co., 











^fjis Falume 





Cutting loose from Care. — Map of the Northwest. — Leaving 
Chicago. — Fourth of July. — At La Crosse. — Dance on a 
Steamboat. — Up the Mississippi. — The Boundaries of Min- 
nesota. — Winona. — St. Paul. — Minneapolis. — The Father 
of Waters in Harness 



St. Cloud. — Our Party. — First Night in Camp. — A Midnight 
Thunder-Storm. — Sunday in Camp. — Up the Sauk Valley. — 
White Bear Lake. — Catching a Turtle. — Lightning Lake. — 
Second Sabbath in Camp. — The River Systems of the Nox'th- 
west. — Elevations across the Continent. — The Future . . 25 



Down the Valley of the Red River. — Breckenridge. — Fort Ab- 
ercrombie. — Climate. — Winters at Winnipeg. — Burlington. 

— The Emigrant. — Father Genin. — Mackenzie. — Harman. — 
Sir John Richardson. — Captain Palliser. — Father De Smet. 

— Winters on the Saskatchawan. *— Snow-Fall . . .51 




Winnipcggers. — Rido over the Prairio. — Dakota City. — 
Gcorp;ctown. — Hudson Hay Company Teams. — Parting with 
our Friends. — The 43d Parallol. — Dalcota. — Wyoming. — 
Montana. — Idaho. — Oregon. — Washington. — British Co- 
himbia. — Distances. — Fisheries of tlie Pacific. — Mr. Sew- 
ard's Speech 77 



Bottineau. — The Leaf Hills. — A Ride over the Plain. — The 
Park Region. — Settlers. — How they kept the Fourth of July. 
— Chippewa Indians. — Rush Lake. — A Serenade on the 
Prairie. — German Pioneers. — Otter-Tail Lake . . . 109 



Noon Lunch. — Toasting Pork. — A Montana Dutchman. — 
Emigrant Trains. — Camping at Night. — Wheat of Min-< 
nesota. — The State in 1849. — A Word to Yoimg Men. — 
Boys once more. — Our Last Camp-Fire .... 123 



Down-Easters. — The Eden of Lumbermen. — Country East of 
the Mississippi. — The Climate of the Forest Region. — White 
Bear Lake. — Travellers from Duluth. — A Maine Farmer in 
Minnesota. — Chengv/atona. — Pitching of the Mud-Wagon. 
Grindstone. — Kettle River. — Superior 137 




Duluth. — Minnesota Point. —Tlio Projected Brcnltwatcr. — 
Comparison witli tlio Suez Canal. — The Town. — Period of 
Navigation. — The Lalco Superior and Mississippi Railroad. 
Transportation. — Elevators. — St. Louis River. — Minnesota 
Slate Quarry. — An Indian Chief and his Followers. — Rail- 
roiid Lfuids. — Manufactui'ing Industry. — Terms of the Rail- 
road Company 154 



The Apostle Islands. — Bayfield. — The Harbor. — Breakfast ^ 
with Captain* Vaughn. — Asliland. — Big Trout. — Onto- 
nagon. — Approach to Marquette. — The Ilai-bor. — The 
Town. — Discovery of Iron Ore. — kilning Companies. — Va- 
rieties of Ore. — The Miners. — The Coming Years . . 1G9 



A Talk about the Northwest. — Mr. Blotter. — He wants a Farm. 

— Government Lands. — Homestead Law of Minnesota. — 
Exemption LaAVS. — The St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. — 
Liberal Terms of Piivment. — Stock-Raisin<r. — Rolibing 
Mother Earth. — Native Grasses. — Fruit. — Small Grains. — 
Productions of the State, 1869. — Schools. — When to Emi- 
grate. — Prospective Development. — The Tide of Emigi'a- 

tion 186 



How Communities grow. — Humboldt. — What I saw in 1846. 

— The Pacific Coast. — Eiver-Systems. — Lewis and Clark. 

• • • 


— ,Tc(T Davis. — Charter of tlic Company. — Tho Projcctora. 

— Tho Luic. — From Lake Superior to tho Mississippi.— 
To the Roclty Mountains. — Deer Lodge Pass. — The West- 
ern Slope. — Mr. Roberts's Report. — Snow Blockades. — Ele- 
vations. — Power of Locomotives. — Bureau of Emigration. 

— Portable Houses. — Help to Emigrants. — The Future . 207 




LAST summer I cut loose from all care, and 
enjoyed a few weeks of freedom and recrea- 
tion with a party of gentlemen on the frontier 
between Lake Superior and the Missouri River. 
I was charmed by the beauty of the country, 
amazed at its resources, and favorably impressed 
by its' probable future. Its attractions were set 
forth in a series of letters contributed to the Bos- 
ton Journal. 

People from every Eastern State, as well as from 
New York and the British Provinces, have called 
upon me since my return, for the purpose of " hav- 
ing a talk about the Northwest," while others have 
applied by letter for additional or specific infor- 
mation, and others still have requested a repub- 
lication of the letters. In response to these calls 
this small volume has been prepared, setting forth 
the physical features of the vast reach of country 
lying between the Lakes and the Pacific, not only 


in tlie United States, but in British America as 

The most trustworthy accounts of persons who 
have lived there, as well as of engineers who have 
been sent out by the United States, British, and 
Canadian governments, have been collated, that 
those seeking a home in Minnesota or Dakota 
may know what sort of a country lies beyond, 
and what will be its probable future. 

The map accompanying the volume has been 
prepared for the most part by the Bureau of the 
United States Topographical Engineers. It gives 
me pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to 
Major- General Humphreys, in charge of the Bu- 
reau, and to Colonel Woodruffe, in charge of tlie 
map department, for permission to use the same. 

Througli their courtesy I am enabled to place 
before the public the most complete map ever 
published of the country between the 36tli and 
55th parallel, extending across the continent, and 
showing not only the entire railway system of the 
Eastern and Middle States, but also the Union 
Pacific Railroad and the Nortliern Pacific, now 
under construction. The figures followed l)y the 
letter T have reference to the elevatioii of the 
locality above tide-water, thus enabling tlie reader 
to obtain at a glance a comprehensive idea of the 
topographical as well as the geographical features 
of the country. , . , ,. , . , , , , , , . 


" All aboard for the Northwest ! " 

So shouted the stalwart porter of the Sherman 
House, Chicago, on the morning of the 5th of 
July, 1869. 

Giving heed to the call, we descended the steps 
of the hotel and entered an omnibus waiting at 
the door, that quickly whirled ils to the depot of 
the Chicago and Northwestern liailroad. 

There were about a dozen gentlemen in the 
party, all bound for the Northwest, to explore a 
portion of the vast reach of country lying between 
Lake Superior and the great northern bend of the 
Missouri Eiver. 

It was a pleasant, sunny, joyful morning. The 
anniversary of the nation's independence having 
fallen on the Sabbath, the celebration was observed 
on Monday, and the streets resounded with the 
explosion of fire-crackers. Americans, Germans, 
Norwegians, Irish, people of all nationalities, were 
celebrating the birthday of their adopted country. 
Not only in Chicago, but throughout the cosmo- 
politan State of Wisconsin, as we sped over its 
fertile prairies and through its towns and villages 
during the day, there was a repetition of the 
scene. . • ;/. 

Settlers from New England and the Middle 
States were having Sabbath-School, temperance, or 
civic celebrations ; Irish societies were marching in 
procession, bearing green banners emblazoned with 


the shamrock, thistle, and harp of Erin; Ger- 
mans were drinking lager beer, singing songs, and 
smoking their meerschanms. All work was laid 
aside, and all hands — farmers with their wives 
and daughters, young men with their sweethearts, 
children in crowds — were observing in their va- 
rious ways the return of the holiday. 

Our route was by way of La Crosse, wliich we 
reached late in the evening. We were to go up 
the Mississippi on a steamer that lay moored to the 
bank. Its cabin was aglow with lights. Enter- 
ing it, we found a party of ladies and gentlemen 
formed for a quadrille. They were the officers of 
the boat and their friends from the town. A negro 
with a bass-viol, and two Germans with violins, 
were tuning their instruments and rosining tjieir 
bows. • . 

We were met upon the threshold by a rosy- 
cheeked damsel, who gleefully exclaimed, — 

" O, yeau have arrived at the right moment ! We 
are having a riglit good time, and we only want one 
more gentleman to make it go real good. Yeau 11 
dance neaw, won't ye ? I want a partner. 0, ye 
will neaw. I know ye will, and ye 11 call off the 
changes tew, won't ye ? Xeaw dew." 

Not having a "light fantastic toe" on either 
foot, we were forced to say no to this lively 
La Crosse maiden ; besides, we were tired and cov- 
ered with dust, and in sad plight for the ball-room. 


A member of Congress was next appealed to, then 
a grave and dignified Doctor of Divinity. 

A more ungallant party than ours never stood 
on a Western steamboat. Governor, judge, parson, 
members of Congress, all shook their heads and > 
resisted the enthusiastic lady. In vain she urged 
tliem, and the poor girl, with downcast counte- 
uaii'.'e, turned from the obdurate Yankees, and 
sailed in gloriously with a youth who fortunately 
entered tlie cabin at the moment. 

It was a rare sight to see, for they danced witli 
a will. They made the steamer shake from stem 
to stern. The glass lamps tinkled in their brass 
settings, and the doors of staterooms rattled on 
their hinges, especially when the largest gentle- 
mail of the party came to a shuffle. 

He is the Daniel Lambert of the Mississippi, — 
immense and gigantic, and having great develop- 
ment round the equator. 

Quadrille, cotillon, and waltz, and genuine w^est- 
ern break-downs followed one after the other. 
There was plenty to eat and drink in the pantry. 
The first thing we heard in the evening was the 
tuning of the instruments ; the last thing, as we 
dropped off to sleep, was the scraping of the vio- 
lins and the shuffling of feet. 

We are awake in the morning in season to take 
a look at the place before the boat casts off from 
its mooring for a trip to Winona. 


A company of Norwegian emigrants that came 
with lis on the train from Chicago are cooking 
their breakfast in and around the station. They 
sailed from Christiania for Quebec, and have been 
six weeks on the way. All ages are represented. 
It is a party made up of families. There are 
many light-haired maidens among them with deep 
blue eyes and blonde complexions ; and robust 
young men with honest faces, who have bidden 
farewell forever to their old homes upon the fiords 
of Norway, and who henceforth are to be citizens 
of the United States. 

They will find immediate employment on the 
railroads of Minnesota, in the construction of new 
lines. They are not hired by the day, but small 
sections are let out to individuals, who receive 
a specified sum for every square yard of earth 
thrown up. 

There is no discussion of the eight-hour ques- 
tion among them. They work sixteen hours of 
their own accord, instead of haggling over eight. 
They have no time to engage in rows, nor do they 
find occasion. They have had a bare existence 
in their old home ; life there was ever a strug- 
gle, the mere keeping together of soul and body, 
but here Hope leads them on. They are poor 
now, but a few years hence they will be well off 
in the world. They will have farms, nice houses, 
money in banks, government bonds, and railway 


stocks. They will obtain land at government price, 
will raise wheat, wool, or stock, and will soon find 
their land quadrupled in value. They will make 
excellent citizens. Their hearts are on the right 
side, — not physiologically, but morally, politi- 
cally, and religiously speaking. They are ardent 
lovers of liberty ; they cannot be trammelled by 
any shackles, political or ecclesiastical. They are 
frugal, industrious, and honest. Already tliere 
are several daily papers published in the Scandi- 
navian language. 

The steamer is ploughing the Mississippi 
against the current northward. Wisconsin is on 
our right, Minnesota on our left ; and while we are 
moving on toward the region of country which we 
are to visit, we may while away the time by 
thinking over the general characteristics of the 
State of Minnesota, in which our explorations are 
to commence. 

The southern boundary strikes the river twenty- 
two miles below La Crosse. If I were to go down 
ther^ and turn my steps due west, I might walk 
two hundred and sixty-four miles along the Iowa 
line before reaching the southwestern corner of 
the State. The western side is the longest, and 
if I were to start from the southwestern corner 
and travel due north, I should have a journey 
of three hundred and sixty miles to accom- 
plish before reaching the northern boundary, — 


the line between the United States and British 

Starting from Pembina, at the northwest corner 
of the State, on the Eed Eiver of the North, and 
travelUng due east eighty miles, I should reach 
the Lake of the Woods ; sailing across it sixty 
miles, then entering the river leading to Eainy 
Lake, I might pass through the wonderful water- 
way of lakes and rivers reaching to Lake Supe- 
rior, — a distance of about four hundred miles. 

The eastern boundary formed by the Mississippi, 
St. Croix, and Lake Superior is more irregular. 
Its general outline, as we look at it upon the map, 
is that of a crescent, cutting into Minnesota, the 
horns turned eastward. The area within the boun- 
daries thus described is estimated at 84,000 square 
miles, or 54,760,000 acres. It is a territory larger 
than Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachu- 
setts, Ehode Island, and Connecticut combined. 

Here, upon the Mississippi, I gaze upon bluffs 
of gray limestone wrought into fantastic shape by 
the winds and storms of centuries and by the 
slow wearing of the river ; but were I to climb 
them, and gain the general level of the country, 1 
should behold rolling prairies dotted with lakes 
and ponds of pure water, and groves of oak and 
hickory. All of Minnesota east of the Mississippi 
is a timbered region. Here and there are open- 
ings; but, speaking in general terms, the entire 


country east of tlie river is a forest, which through 
the coming years will resound with the axe of 
the lumberman. 

When we go up the Mississippi eighty miles 
above St. Paul to St. Cloud, we shall find the Sauk 
Tiiver coming in from the west ; and there the Mis- 
sissippi is no longer the boundary of the timbered 
lands, but tlie forest reaches across the stream 
westward to Otter-Tail Eiver, a distance of more 
than one hundred miles. The Sauk Eiver is its 
southern boundary. 

All the region north of the Sauk, at the head- 
waters of the Mississippi and north of Lake Supe- 
rior, is well supplied with timber. A belt of woods 
forty miles wide, starting from the Crow-Wing 
liiver, extends south nearly to the Iowa boundary. 
It is broken here and there by prairie openings 
and fertile meadows. The tract is knowai through- 
out the Northwest as the region of the " Big 

There are fringes of timber along the streams, 
so that the settler, wherever he may wish to make 
a home, will generally find material for building 
purposes within easy reach. In this respect Min- 
nesota is one of the most favored States of the 

The formations of the bluffs now and then re- 
mind us of old castles upon the Eliine. They 
are, upon an a\erage, three hundred and fifty feet 


above the summer level of the river. "We are far 
from the Gulf of Mexico, yet the river at St. Paul 
is only six hundred and seventy-six feet above tide- 

Northward of Minneapolis the bluffs disappear, 
and the surface of the river is but a few feet below 
the general level of the country, which is about 
one thousand feet above the sea. 

It is one of the remarkable topographical fea- 
tures of the continent, that from St. Paul to the 
Peace River, which empties into the Athabasca, 
the elevation is about the same, though the dis- 
tance is more than one thousand miles. Through- 
out this great extent of territory, especially in Min- 
nesota, are innumerable lakes and ponds of pure 
fresh water, some of them having no visible outlet 
or inlet, with pebbly shores and beaches of white 
sand, bordered by groves and parks of oak, ash, 
and maple, lending an indescribable charm to the 
beauty of the landscape. 

While we are making these observations the 
steamer is nearing Winona, a pleasant town, de- 
lightfully situated on a low prairie, elevated but a 
few feet above the river. The bluffs at this point 
recede, giving ample room for a town site with a 
ravine behind it. 

Nature has done a great deal for the place, — 
scooping out the ravine as if the sole purpose had 
been to make the construction of a railroad an 


easy matter. The Winona and St. Peter's Railway 
strikes out from tlie town over the prairie, whids 
through the ravine, and by easy grades gains the 
rolling country beyond. The road is nearly com- 
pleted to the Minnesota Eiver, one hundred and 
forty miles. It will eventually be extended to the 
western boundary of the State, and onward into 
Dakota. It is now owned by the Chicago and 
Northwestern Eailway Company, and runs through 
the centre of the second tier of counties in the 
State. The Southern Minnesota Railroad starts 
from La Crosse, and runs west through the first 
tier of counties. It is already constructed half- 
way across the State, and will be pushed on, as 
civilization advances, to the Missouri. That is the 
objective point of all the lines of raihvay leading 
west from the Mississippi, and they will soon be 

This city of Winona fifteen years ago had about 
one hundred inhabitants. It was a place where 
steamers stopped to take wood and discharge a 
few packages of freight, but to-day it has a popu- 
lation of nine thousand. Looking out upon it from 
the promenade deck of the steamer, we see new 
buildings going up, and can hear the hammers and 
saws of the carpenters. It already contains thir- 
teen churches and a Normal School with three 
hundred scholars, who are preparing to teach the 
children of the State, though the probabilities are 


that most of them will soon teach their own off- 
spring instead of tlieir neighbors' ; for in the West 
young men are plenty, maidens scarce. Out 
here — 

'• There is no goose so gray hut soon or late 
Will find some honest gander for her mate." 

Not so in the East, for the young men there are 
pushing west, and women are in tlie majority. It 
is a certainty that some of them will know more 
of single blessedness than of married life. If they 
would only come out here, tlie certainty would be 
the other way. 

Not stopping at AVinona, but hastening on board 
the train, we fly over the prairie, up the ravine, 
and out through one of the most fertile sections 
of the great grain-field of the Northwest. 

The superintendent of the road, Mr. Stewart, 
accompanies our party, and we receive pleasure 
and profit by having a gentleman with us who is 
so thoroughly informed as he to point out the ob- 
jects of interest along the way. By a winding road, 
now running under a high bluff where the lime- 
stone ledges overhang the track, now gliding over 
a high trestle-bridge from the northern to the 
southern side of the deep ravine, we gain at length 
the general table-land, and behold, reaching as far 
as the eye can see, fields of wheat. Fences are 
visible here and there, showing the division of 
farms ; but there is scarcely a break in the sea of 


grain, in iiower now, rippling and waving in the 
passing breeze. Farm-houses dot the landscape, 
and white cottages are embowered in surrounding 
iiroves, and here and there we detect a small 
patch of corn or an acre of potatoes, — small isl- 
ands these in the great ocean of wheat reaching 
\\X'stward, northward, and southward. 

We are astonislied when the train nears St. 
(Jliarles, a town of two tliousand inhabitants, look- 
ing marvellously like a New England village, to 
see a school-house just completed at a cost of 
S 15,000 ! and still wider open we our eyes at 
liochester, with a population of six thousand, where 
we behold a school-building that has cost 860,000! 
Upon inquiry we ascertain that tlie bulk of the 
population of these towns is from New England. 

A ride of about ninety miles brings us to Owa- 
tona, a town of about three thousand inhabitants. 

We are in' Steele County. The little rivulets 
here meandering through the prairie and flowing 
southward reach the Mississippi only after crossing 
the State of Iowa, while those running northward 
join the Mississippi through the Minnesota Eiver. 

Here, as at Eochester, we behold charming land- 
scapes, immense fields of grain, groves of trees, 
snug cottages and farm-houses, and a thrifty town. 
Owatona has a school-house that cost the citizens 
% 20,000 ; yet nine years ago the population of 
the entire county was only 2,862 ! The census of 


1870 will probably make it 15,000. So civiliza- 
tion advances, not only here, but all through the 
Northwest, especially where there are railroad fa- 


From Owatona we turn north and pass through 
Rice County, containing eighteen townships. It is 
one of the best-timbered counties west of the Mis- 
sissippi ; there are large tracts of oak, maj^le, but- 
ternut, walnut, poplar, elm, and boxwood. We 
glide through belts of timber where choppers are 
felling the trees for railroad ties, past fields where 
the industrious husbandman has turned the natu- 
ral grasses of the prairie into l)looming clover. 

At Faribault a company of Norwegians, recently 
arrived from their homes beyond the sea, and not 
having reached their journey's end, are cooking 
their supper near the station. To-morrow they 
will be pushing on westward to the grounds al- 
ready purchased by the agent who has brought 
them out. 

In 1850 this entire county had only one hundred 
inhabitants ; the census of next year will probably 
show a population of twenty-five thousand, — one 
half Americans, one sixth Germans, one ninth 
Irish, besides Norwegians, Swedes, i^nd Canadians. 
Faribault has about four thousand inhabitants, 
who have laid excellent foundations for future 
growth. They have an Episcopal College, a High 
School for ladies, a Theological Seminary, a Deaf 


and Dumb Asylum, two Congregational churches, 
also one 15ai)tist, one Methodist, and one Episco- 
pal. They have excelleht water-power on the 
Cannon River. Five llouriug-mills have already 
been erected. 

Fourteen miles beyond this place we find North- 
field witli three thousand inhabitants, three fourths 
of them New-Englanders. Five churches and a 
college, two flouring-mills capable of turning out 
one hundred thousand barrels per annum, excellent 
schools, a go-ahead population, are the characteris- 
tics of this thoroughly wide-awake town. 

A mile or two beyond Northfield we enter Da- 
kota County, — one of the most fertile in the 
State. It was one of the first settled, ai'd in 1860 
contained 9,058 inhabitants. Its present popula- 
tion is estimated at 20,000, — one third of them 
Irish, one third Americans, one quarter Germans, 
and the remainder of all nationalities. The lar- 
gest town is Hastings, on the Mississippi, contain- 
ing about four thousand inhabitants. The Has- 
tings and Dakota Railroad, extending west, crosses 
the Milwaukie and St. Paul at Farmington, a 
pleasant little town located on a green and fertile 
prairie. Thirty miles of this Hastings and Dakota 
road are in operation, and it is pushing on west- 
ward, like all the others, to reach the territory of 
Dakota and the Missouri River. 

On over the prairies we fly, reaching the oldest 


town in the State, Mendota, which was a trading- 
post of the American Fur Company as long ago as 
1828. It was liveher then than now, for in those 
ysfctrs Indians by the thousand made it their ren- 
dezvous, coming in their bark canoes down the 
Minnesota from the borders of Dakota, down the 
St. Croix, which joins the Mississippi opposite 
Hastings, down the Mississippi from all the region 
above the Falls of St. Anthony ; but now it is a 
seedy place. The houses have a forlorn look, and 
the three hundred Irish and Germans that make 
up the bulk of the population are not of the class 
that lay the foundations of empires, or make the 
wilderness bud and blossom with roses ; they take 
life easy, and let to-day wait on to-morrow. 

Fort Snelling, admirably located, looms grand- 
ly above the high steep bluff of the northern 
bank of the Minnesota Eiver. It was one of the 
strongest posts on the frontier, but it is as useless 
now as a last year's swallow's-nest. The frontier 
is three hundred miles farther on. 
. ■ Upon the early maps of Minnesota I find a mag- 
nificent city occupying the surrounding ground. 
It was surveyed and plotted, but St. Paul and 
Minneapolis got ahead, and the city of Snelling 
has no place in history. 

We approach St. Paul from the south. Stepping 
from the cars we find ourselves on the loAvlands of 
the Mississippi, with a high bluff south of us, and 


a. I 'ler on the north bank, both rising perpendicu- 
larly from the river. We ride over a long wooden 
bridge, one end of which rests on the low land by 
the railroad station, and the other on the high 
northern bluff, so that the structure is inclined at 
an angle of about twenty degrees, like the drive- 
way to a New England barn where the floor is 
nearly up to the high beams. We are in a city 
which in 1849, twenty years ago, liad a population 
of eight hundred and forty, l)ut which now has 
an estimated population of twenty-five thousand. 
Here that powerful tribe of Northern Indians, the 
Dakotas, had their capital, — a cave in the sand- 
stone bluffs, which was the council-chamber of the 
tribe. Upon the bluff now stands the capital of 
the State, and the sanguine citizens believe that 
the city is to be the commercial metropolis of the 
Northwest. A few months ago I was on the other 
side of the globe, where civilization is at a stand- 
still ; where communities exist, but scarcely change ; 
where decay is quite as probable as growth ; where 
advancement is the exception, and not the rule. To 
ride through the streets of St. Paul ; to behold its 
spacious warehouses, its elegant edifices, stores 
piled with the goods of all lands, the products of 
all climes, — furs from Hudson Bay, oranges from 
Messina, teas from China, coffee from Brazil, silks 
from Paris, and all the products of industry from 
our own land ; to behold the streets alive with 


people, crowded with farmers' wagons laden witli 
wheat and flour ; to read the signs, " Young Men's 
Christian Association,*' " St. Paul Library Associa- 
tion " ; to see elegant school-edifices and churches, 
beautiful private residences surrounded by lawns 
and adorned with works of art, — to see this in 
contrast with what we have so lately witnessed, 
and to think that this is the development of 
American civilization, going on now as never 
before, and destined to continue till all this wide 
region is to be thus dotted over with centres of 
infhience and power, sends an indescribable thrill 
through our veins. It is not merely that we are 
Americans, but because in this land Christian civi- 
lization is attaining the highest development of all 
time. The people of St. Paul may justly take 
pride in what they have already accomplished, and 
they also have reason to look forward with confi- 
dence to the future. 

The county is quite small, containing only four 
and a half townships. The soil is poor, a sandy 
loam, of not much account for farming purposes, 
but being at the head of steamboat navigation a 
good start was obtained ; and now that railroads 
are superseding steamboats, St. Paul reaches out 
her iron arms in every direction, — up the Missis- 
sippi to St. Cloud, westward through Minneapohs 
to the Eed Eiver of the North, southwest to touch 
the Missouri at Sioux City, due south over the line 


by which we reached the city, down the river to- 
w^ards Chicago, and northeast to Lake Superior. 
As a spider extends its threads, so St. Paul, or per- 
haps, more properly speaking, St. Paul and Minne- 
apolis together, are throwing out their lines of 
communication, making themselves the centre of 
tlie great Northwest systems of railways. The in- 
terests of St. Paul are mercantile, those of Minne- 
apolis manufacturing. Tliey are nearly five hun- 
dred miles distant from Chicago, — far enough to 
be an independent commercial, manufacturing, and 
distributing centre. That such is to be their des- 
tiny cannot be doubted. 

The outfit of our party had been prepared at 
Minneapolis ; and a large number of gentlemen 
from that city made their appearance at St. Paul, 
to convey us to the town in their own private 

It is a charming ride that we have along the 
eastern bank of the Mississippi, which pours its 
miglity flood, — mighty even here, though so far 
away from the sea, — rolling and thundering far 
below us in the chasm which it has worn in the 
solid rock. 

On our right hand are fields of waving grain, and 
white cottages half hidden in groves of oak and 
maple. We see I^ew England thrift and enter- 
prise, for the six States east of the Hudson liave 
been sending their wide-awake sons and daughters 


to this section for the last twenty years. The gen- 
tleman with wlioni we are riding came here from 
the woods of Maine, a lumberman from the Penob- 
scot, and has been the architect of his ow^n for- 
tune. He knows all about the Upper Mississippi, 
its tributaries, and the chain of lakes lying north- 
w^est of Lake Superior. He is Mayor of Minne- 
apolis, a substantial citizen, his hand ready for every 
good work, — for the building of schools and 
churches, for charity and benevolence ; but on the 
Upper Mississippi he wears a red shirt, eats pork 
and beans, and sleeps on pine boughs. He directs 
the labor of hundreds of wood-choppers and rafts- 

How different this from what w^e see in other 
lands ! I find my pen runs on contrasts. How 
can one help it after seeing that gorgeous and 
lumbering old carriage in which the Lord Mayor 
of London rides from Guildhall to Westminster ? 
The Lord Mayor himself appears in a scarlet 
cloak not half so becoming as a red shirt. He 
wears a massive gold chain, and a hat which would 
be most in place on the stage of a theatre, and 
which would make him a guy in any American 
town. Not so do the Lord Mayors of the North- 
west appear in public. They understand practical 
life. It is one of the characteristics of our demo- 
cratic government that it makes people practical 
in all things. 


In 1865 the town of Minneapolis contained 
only 4,607 inhabitants, but the population by the 
census of the present year is 13,080. 

The fall in the river at this point is sixty-four 
feet, furnishing 120,000 horse-power, — more than 
sufficient to drive every mill-wheel and factory in 
New England, and, according to Wheelock's Eeport, 
greater than the whole motive-power — steam and 
water — employed in textile manufactures in Eng- 
land in 1850. Thirteen flouring-mills, fourteen saw- 
mills, two woollen-mills, and two paper-mills, are 
already erected. Six million dollars have been in- 
vested in manufacturing at this point. The only 
difficulty to be encountered is the preservation of 
the falls in their present position. Beneath the 
slate rock over which the torrent pours is a strata 
of soft sandstone, which rapidly wears away. 
Measures have been taken, however, to preserve 
the cataract in its present condition, by construct- 
ing an apron to carry the water some distance 
beyond the verge of the faU and thus prevent the 
breaking away of the rock. 

No one can behold the natural advantages at 
Minneapolis without coming to the conclusion that 
it is to be one of the great manufacturing cities of 
the world if the fall can be kept in its present 
position. Cotton can be loaded upon steamers 
at Memphis, and discharged at St. Paul. The cli- 
mate here is exceedingly favorable for the manu- 


facturing of cotton goods. The lumber-mills by 
and by will give place to other manufactures, and 
Minneapolis will rank with Lowell or Fall Iliver. 

Our ride brings us to St. Anthony on the east 
bank of the river, where we behold the Mississippi 
roaring and tumbling over the slate-stone ledges, 
and hear the buzzing and humming of the ma- 
chinery in the saw-mills. 

St. Anthony was one of the earliest - settled 
towns in the State. Its projectors w^ere Southern 
men. Streets were laid out, stores erected, a great 
hotel built, and extravagant prices asked for land, 
but the owners of Minneapolis offered lots at 
cheaper rates, and found purchasers. The war 
came on, and the proprietors of St. Anthony being 
largely from the South, the place ceased to grow, 
while its rival on the western shore moved steadily 
onward in a prosperous career. But St. Anthony 
is again advancing, for many gentlemen doing 
business in Minneapolis reside there. The inter- 
ests of the two places are identical, and will ad- 
vance together. 

How can one describe what is indescribable? 
I can only speak of this city as situated on a 
beautiful plain, with the Mississippi thundering 
over a cataract with a power sufficient to build up 
half a dozen Lowells ; with a country behind it 
where every acre of land as far as the eye can see, 
and a hundred or a thousand times farther, is capa- 


Ijle of cultivation and of supporting a population as 
dense as that of Belgium or China. Wide streets, 
costly school-houses, church spires, a commu- 
nity in which the 'New England element largely 
predominates, — a city where every other door 
does not open to a lager-heer saloon, as in some 
Western towns ; where the sound of the saw and 
the hammer, and the click of the mason's trowel 
and sledge, are heard from morning till night ; 
where the streets are filled with wagons from the 
country, bringing in grain and carrying hack lum- 
ber, with the farmer, his wife and buxom daughter, 
and tow-headed, bright-faced little boys perched 
on top — such are the characteristics of Minne- 

There was a time when Pegasus was put in har- 
ness, and the ancients, according to fable, tried to 
put Hercules to work. If those days of classic story 
have gone by, better ones have come, for the peo- 
ple of Minneapolis have got the Father of Waters 
in liarness. He is cutting out one hundred million 
feet of lumber per annum here. I can hear him 
spinning his saws. He is turning a score of mill- 
stones, and setting a million or two of spindles in 
motion, and pretty soon some of the citizens in- 
tend to set him to w^eaving bags and cloth by the 
hundred thousand yards ! Only a tithe of his 
strength is yet laid out. These men, reared in 
the East, and developed in the West, will make 


the old Father work for them henceforth. He will 
not be allowed to idle away liis time by leaping 
and laughing year in and year out over yonder 
cataract. He nmst work for the good of the 
human race. They will use him for the building 
of a great mart of industry, — for the erection of 
houses and homes, the abodes of comfort and 
happiness and of joyful and peaceful life. 




ST. CLOUD was the rendezvous of the party, 
where a grand ovation awaited us, — a band 
of music at the station, a dinner at the hotel, a 
ride to Sauk Rapids, two miles above the town. 

St. Cloud is eighty miles above St. Paul, situated 
on the west bank of the river, and is reached by 
the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. The goods of 
the Hudson Bay Company pass through the town. 
Three hundred tons per annum are shipped from 
Liverpool to Montreal, from Montreal to Milwau- 
kie, from Milwaukie by rail to this point, and 
from hence are transported by oxen to the Red 
River, taken down that stream on a small st'^amer 
to Lake Winnipeg, then sent in boats and canoes 
lip the Assinniboin, the Saskatchawan, and to all 
the numerous trading-posts between AVinnipeg and 
the Arctic Ocean. 

We are getting towards the frontier. We come 

upon frontiersmen in leggings, slouch hat, and fur 

coat, — carrying their rifles. Indians are riding 

heir ponies. Wigwams are seen in the groves. 

^arts are here from Pembina and Fort Garry after 




And yet, in the suburbs of the town we see a 
large Normal School building just completed. A 
magnificent bridge costing S 4(),0()0 spans the Mis- 
sissippi. At Sauk Eapids the river rolls over a 
granite ledge, and a chartered water-power com- 
pany is erecting a dam, constructing a canal, and 
laying the foundations for the second great man- 
ufacturing city upon the Mississippi. 

This section has been a favorite locality for 
German emigrants. Nearly one half of the inhab- 
itants of Stearns County, of which St. Cloud is the 
county-seat, are Germans. Here we bid good by 
to the locomotive and take the saddle instead, with 
light caniages for occasional change. 

We leave hotels behind, and are to enjoy the 
pleasures of camp-life. 

Our party as made up consists of the following 
persons : — v 

Q-ov. J. Gregory Smith, St, Albans, Vt. 
W. C. Smith, M. C. " " 

W. H. Lord, D. D., Montpelier, Vt. 

F. E. WooDBRTDGK, VergeniiGS, Vt. 

. S. W. Thayer, M. D., Burlington, Yt. 
Hon. R. D. Rice, Augusta, Me. 

'^^ P. COBURN, " '< .A 

E. F. Johnson, MiddletoAvn, Conn. 

C. C. Coffin, Boston. 

P. W. PIoLMES, New York City. 

A. B. Baylkss, Jr., New York City. 

W. R. Marshall, St. Paul, Gov. of Minnesota. 

E. M. Wilson, M. C, Minneapolis. 

G. A. Brackett, " 


The list is headed by Ex-Governor Smith, Presi- 
dent of the Nortliern Pacific liaih'oad and of the 
Vermont Central. It fell to liis lot to be Chief 
Magistrate of the Green ^lountain State during 
the rebellion, and among all the loyal governors 
there was no one that excelled him in energy and 
executive force. He was here, there, and every- 
^vhere, — one day in Vermont, the next in Wash- 
ington, the third in the rear of the army looking 
after the wounded, I remember seeing him at 
Fredericksburg during those terrible w^eeks that 
followed the struggles at the Wilderness and 
Spottsylvania, — directing his assistants, laboring 
with his own hands, — hunting up the sick and 
wounded, giving up his own cot, sleeping on the 
bare floor, or not sleeping at all, — cheering the 
despondent, writing sympathetic letters to fathers 
and mothers whose sons w^ere in the hospital, or 
who had given their lives to their country. He 
has taken hold of this great eixterprise — the con- 
struction of a railroad across the continent from 
the Lakes to the Pacific Ocean — with like zeal 
and energy, and has organized this expedition to 
explore the country between Lake Superior and 
the Missouri Eiver. 

Judge Eice is from Maine. He is President of 
the Portland and Kennebec Eailroad, and a director 
of the Northern Pacific. xJefore engaging in the 
management of railroads he held, for sixteen years, 

28 tup: seat of empire. 

the lionoraMe and responsiljle positic-n of Associate 
Judf!je of tlie Supreme Court of Maine. Well 
versed in law, and holding the scales of justice 
evenly, his decisions have been regardyJ as wise 
and just. 

Mr. Johnson is the Chief Engineer of the road, 
one of the ablest i\i liis profession in the country. 
As long ago as 1853, before the government sur- 
veys were made, he published a pamphlet upon 
this future highway to the Pacific, in which he 
discussed with great ability the physical geogra- 
phy of the cuLiiitry, not only from Lake Superior 
to Puget Sound, but the entire region between the 
Mississippi and the Pacific. The explorations that 
have since been made correspond almost exactly 
with his statements. 

The President of the company has showed fore- 
thought for the health, comfort, and pleasure of the 
party, by taking along two of the most genial men 
in Kew England, — Dr. Thayer, of. BurKngton, to 
cure us of all the ills that flesh is heir to, whose 
broad smiling face is itself a most excellent medi- 
cine, whose stories are quite as good as his pills 
and powders for keeping our digestion all right; 
and Rev. Dr. Loru, >om Montpelier, for many years 
pastor of one of the largest churches in the State. 

With a doctor to keep our bodies right, with a 
minister to point out the narrow way that leads to 
a brighter world, and both of them as warm- 


liearted and genial as sunshine, we surely ought to 
be in good liealth. 

j\Ir. Holmes, of New York, is an old campaigner. 
He had experienced the rough and tuml)le of life 
on the Upper Missouri, witli his ritle for a com- 
panion, the earth his bed, the broad expanse of sky 
his tent. • 

Governor Marshall, Chief ^lagistrate of Minne- 
sota, IMr. Wilson, member of Congress from the 
same State, and Mr. Brackett, of Minneapolis, 
were in Sibley's expedition against the Indians, and 
are accustomed to all the pleasures and hardships 
of a campaign. They are to explore the region 
lying between the Ked River of the North and 
the Great Bend of the ^lissouri. Mr. Bayless, 
of New York, accompanies the party to enjoy the 
freedom and excitement of frontier life. Nor are 
we without other company. Some of the clergy- 
men of Minnesota, like their brethren in other 
parts of the country, turn their backs on civiliza- 
tion during the summer months, and spend a few 
weeks with Nature for a teacher. It is related 
that the Rev. Dr. Bethune made it a point to visit 
^loosehead Lake in Maine every season, to medi- 
tate in solitude and eat onions ! He not only 
loved them, but had great faith in their strength- 
ening po '^rs. His ministry was a perpetual Lent 
80 far as *. dons were concerned, and it was only 
when he bri)ke away from society and was lost to 


the world in the forest that he could partake freely 
of his favorite vegetable. 

Travelling the same road, and keeping ns com- 
pany, are Eev. Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, of Eochester, 
and Eev. Mr. and Lirs. Williams, and Mr. and 
Miss Wheaton, of Northfield, Minn. They have a 
prairie wagon with a covered top, drawn by two 
horses, in which is packed a tent, with pots, 
kettles, pans, dishes, flour, pork, beans, canned 
fruit, hams, butter, bed and bedding. They have 
saddle-horses for excursions, and carry rifles, shot- 
guns, and flshing-tackle. Pulpit, people and par- 
sonage, hoop-skirts, stove-i)ipe hats, work and 
care, are left behind. The women can handle the 
fishing-rod or rifle. It may seem to ladies unac- 
customed to country life as a great letting down 
of dignity on the part of these women of the 
"West to enter upon such an expedition, but they 
are in search of health. They are not aiming 
to be Amazons. A few weeks upon the prairies, 
and they will return well browned, but healtliful 
and rugged, and as attractive and charming as the 
fair Maud who raked hay and dreamed of what 
might have been. . 

Our first night is spent at "Camp Thunder," 
and why it is so named will presently be appar- 
ent. It is nearly night when we leave St. Cloud 
for a four-mile ride to our quarters. 

We can see in the rays of the setting sun, as 


we ride over tlie prairie, our village of white tents 
pitched by tlie roadside, and our wagons parked 
near by. It is an exhilarating scene, bringing 
to remembrance the many tented fields during the 
war, and those soul-stirring days wdien the armies 
of the Kepublic marched under their great leader 
to victory. 

The sun goes down through a blood-colored 
haze, throwing its departing beams upon a bank 
of leaden clouds that lie along the horizon. Old 
salts say that such sunsets in the tropics are fol- 
lowed by storms. 

Tlirough the evening, while sitting in the doors 
of our tents and talking of camp-life and its pleas- 
ant experiences, we can see faint flashes of light- 
ning along the horizon. The leaden clouds grow 
darker, and rise slowly up the sky. Through the 
deepening haze we catch faint glimpses of celestial 
architecture, — castles, towers, massive w^alls, and 

** Looming bastions fringed with fire." 

Far away rolls the heavy thunder, — so far that 
it seems the diapason of a distant organ. We lose 
sight of the gorgeous palaces, temples, and cathe- 
drals of tlie upper air, or we see them only when 
the bright flashes of lightning illume the sky. 

It is past midnight, — we have been asleep, 
and are wakened by the sudden bursting of the 
storm. The canvas roof and walls of our house 
flap suddenly in the wind. The cords are drawn 


taut against the tent-pins. The roof rises, set- 
tles, surges up and down, to and fro, the walls 
belly in and then out against the swaying frame. 
The rain comes in great drops, in small drops, in 
drifting spray, rattling upon the canvas like a 
hundred thousand muskets, — just as they rattled 
and rolled on that awful day at the Wilderness 
when the two greatest armies ever gathered on this 
continent met in deadly conflict. 

All the while the tent is as bridit with light- 
ning as with the sun at noonda}^ By the side of 
my cot is a book which I have been reading ; tak- 
ing it in n.y hand, I read the finest print, noted the 
hour, rainuto, and position of the second-hand upon 
my "watch. 

Looking out through the opening of the fly, I 
behold the distant woodland, the fences, the beard- 
ed grain laid prostrate by the blast, the rain-drops 
falling aslant through the air, the farm-house a 
half-mile distant, — all revealed by the red glare 
of the lightning. All the landscape is revealed. 
For an instant I am in darkness, then all apjDears 
again beneath the lurid light. 

The storm grows wilder. The gale becomes a 
tempest, and increases to a tornado. The thunder 
crashes around, above, so near that the crackling 
follows in an instant tlie blinding flash. It rat- 
tles, rolls, roars, and explodes like bursting bombs. 

The tent is reeling. Knowing what will be the 




result, I hurry on my clothing, and have just time 
to seize an india-rubber coat before the pins are 
pulled from the ground. I spring to the pole, de- 
termined to hold on to the last. 

Though the lightning is so fearful, and the mo- 
ment well calculated to arouse solemn thoughts, 
we cannot restrain our laughter when two occu- 
pants of an adjoining tent rush into mine in the 
condition of men who have had a sousing in a 
pond. The wind pulled their tent up by the 
roots, and slapped the w^et canvas down upon them 
in a twinkling. They crawled out like muskrats 
from their holes, — their night-shirts fit for mops, 
their clothing ready for washing, their boots full 
of water, their hats limp and damp and ready for 
moulding into corrugated tiles. 

It is a ludicrous scene. I am the central figure 
inside the tent, — holding to the pole with all my 
might, bareheaded, barefooted, my body at an 
angle of forty-five degrees, my feet sinking into 
the black mire, — the dripping canvas swinging 
and swaying, now lifted by the wind and now 
flapping in my face, and drenching anew two 
members of Congress, who sit upon my broken- 
down bed, shivering while vmnging out their 
shirts ! 

'V\Tien the fury of the storm is over, I rush out 
to drive down the pins, and find that my tent is the 
only one in the encampment that is not wholly 



prostrated. The members of the party are stand- 
ing like skirted ghosts in the storm. The rotund 
form of our M. D. is wrapped in the oil-cloth 
table-cover. For the moment he is a hydropatb, 
and complacently surveys the wreck of tents. Tlie 
rain falls on liis bare head, the water streams from 
his gray locks, and runs like a river down his 
broad back ; but he does not 1)ow before the blast, 
he breasts it bravely. I do not hear him, but I 
can see by his features that he is silently singing 
the Sunday-school song, — 

"I '11 stand tlie storm, 
It won't be I'oiig." 

Tents, beds, bedding, clothing, all are soppy 
and moppy, and the ground a quagmire. We 
go ankle deep into the mud. We might navigate 
the prairies in a boat. 

Our purveyor, Mr. Brackett, an old campaigner, 
knows just what to do to make us comfortable. 
He has a dry tent in one of the wagons, which, 
when the rain has ceased, is quickly set up. His 
cook soon has his coffee-pot bubbling, and with 
hot coffee and a roaring fire we are none the worse 
for the drenching. 

The storm has spent its fury, and is passing 
away, but the heavens are all aglow. Broad 
flashes sweep across the sky, flame up to the ze- 
nith, or quiver along the horizon. Bolt after bolt 
falls earthward, or flies from the north, south, east, 


and west, — from all points of the compass, — 
branching into beautiful forms, spreading out into 
tlireads and fibres of light, each tipped with golden 
balls or beads of brightest hue, seen a moment, 
then gone forever. 

riash and flame, bolt and bar, bead, ball, and 
line, follow each other in quick succession, or all 
appear at once in indescribable beauty and fear- 
ful grandeur. We can only gaze in wonder and 
.admiration, though all but blinded by the vivid 
flashes, and though each bolt may be a messenger 
of death, — though in the twinkling of an eye the 
spirit may be stricken from its present tabernacle 
and sent upon its returnless flight. The display, 
so magnificent and grand, has its only counterpart 
in the picture which imagination paints of Sinai 
or the final judgment. 

In an adjoining county the storm was attended 
by a whirlwind. Houses w^ere demolished and 
several persons killed. It was terrifying to be in 
it, to hear the deafening thunder ; but it was a sight 
worth seeing, — that glorious lighting up of the 
arch of heaven. • ^ 

It required half a day of bright sunshine to put 
tilings in trim after the tornado, and then on Sat- 
urday afternoon the party pushed on to Cold 
Spring and encamped on the bank of Sauk Eiver 
for the Sabbath. 

The camp was named " Jay Cooke," in honor of 


the energetic banker who is the financial agent of 
the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Sweet, 
calm, and peaceful the hours. Religious services 
were held, conducted by Rev. Dr. Lord, who had 
a flour-barrel and a candle-box before him for a 
pulpit ; a congregation of teamsters, with people 
from the little village near by, and the gentlemen 
composing our party, some of us seated on boxes, 
but most of us sitting npon the ground. Nor were 
we without a choir. Everybody sung Old Hun- 
dred ; and though some of us could only sound 
one note, and that straight along from beginning 
to end, like the drone of a bagpipe, it went glo- 
riously. Old Hundred never was sung with better 
spirit, though there was room for improvement of 
the understanding, especially in the base. The 
teamsters, after service, Imnted turtle-eggs on the 
bank of the river, and *one of them brought in a 
hatful, which were cooked for supper. 

Our course from Cold Spring was up the Sauk 
Valley to Sauk Centre, a lively town with an excel- 
lent water-power. The town is about six years old, 
but its population already numbers fifteen hundred. 
The country around it is one of the most beautiful 
and fertile imaginable. The Sauk River is the 
southern boundary of the timbered lands west of the 
Mississippi. As we look southward, over the mag- 
nificent expanse, we see farm-houses and grain- 
fields, but on the north bank are dense forests. 

, ,,p« 




The prairie lands are already taken up by settlers, 
while there are many thousand acres of the wood- 
ed portion of Stearns County yet in the posses- 
sion of the government. The emigrant can raise 
a crop of wheat the second year after beginning a 
farm upon the prairies, while if he goes into the 
woods there is the slow process of clearing and 
di^Uging out of stumps, and a great deal of hard 
labor before he has any returns. Those prairie 
lands that lie in the immediate vicinity of tim- 
ber are most valuable. The valley of the Sauk, 
besides being exceedingly fertile, has timber near 
at hand, and has had a rapid development. It is 
an inviting section for the capitalist, trader, me- 
chanic, or farmer, and its growth promises to be as 
rapid in the future as it has been since 1865. 

A two days' ride over a magnificent prairie 
brings us to White Bear Lake. If we had trav- 
elled due west from St. Cloud, along the township 
lines, sixty miles, we should have found ourselves 
at its southern shore instead of its northern. Our 
camp for the night was pitched on the hills over- 
looking this sheet of water. The Vale of Tempo 
could not have been fairer, and Arcadia had no 
lovelier scene, than that which we gazed upon 
from the green slope around our tents, blooming 
with wdld roses, lilies, petunias, and phlox. 

The lake stretches southward a distance of 
twelve miles, indented here and there by a wooded 


promontory, with sandy beaches sweeping in mag- 
nificent curves, with a patch of woodland on the 
eastern sliore, and a green fringe of stately oaks 
and elms around its entire circumference. As far 
as the vision extends we behold limitless fields, 
whose verdure changes in varying hues with every 
passing cloud, and wanting only a background of 
highlands to make it as lovely as Windermere, the 
most enchanting of all the lakes of Old England. 

At our feet was the little town of Glenwood. 
We looked down upon a hotel with the stars and 
stripes waving above it ; npon a neat school-house 
with children playing around its doors ; ujion a 
cluster of twenty or thirty white houses sur- 
rounded by gardens and flower-beds. Three yetivs 
ago this was a solitude. 

There is a sail-boat upon the lake, wdiich some 
gentlemen of our party chartered for a fishing-ex- 
cursion. Thinking perhaps we should get more 
fish by dividing our force, I took a skiff, and ob- 
tained a stalwart Norwegian to row it. Almost as 
soon as my hook touched the water I felt a tug at 
the other end of the line, and in came a j)ickerel, 
— a three-pounder ! The Norwegian rowed slowly 
along the head of the lake, and one big fellow after 
another was pulled into the boat. There was 
scarcely a breath of wind, and the sails were idly 
flapping against the masts of the larger boat, where 
my friends were whiling away the time as best 


they could, tantalized by seeing that I was having 
all the fun. They could only crack their rifles at 
a loon, or at the flocks of ducks swimming along 
the shore. 

But there was rare sport at hand. I discovered 
an enormous turtle lying upon the surface of the 
water as if asleep. " Approach gently," I said to 
the Norwegian. lie dipped his oars softly, and 
sent the skiff stern foremost towards the turtle, 
who was puffing and blowing like a wheezy old 
gentleman sound asleep. 

One more push of the oar and he will be mine. 
Too late ! We have lost him. Down he goes. I 
can see him four feet beneath us, clawing off. No, 
he is coming up. He rises to the surface. I grasp 
his tail with both hands, and jerk with all my 
might. The boat dips, but a backward spring 
saves it from going over, and his majesty of White 
Bear Lake, the oldest inhabitant of its silver wa- 
ters, weighing forty-six pounds, — so venerable that 
he wears a garden-bed of grass and weeds upon 
his back — is floundering in the half-filled skiff. 

The boatman springs to his feet, stands on the 
seat with uplifted oar, undecided whether to jump 
overboard or to fight the monster who is making 
at his legs with open jaws. 

By an adroit movement of an oar I whirl him 
upon his back, and hold him down while the Nor- 
wegian paddles slowly to the beach. 


Tlie captive rides in a meal-bag the remainder 
of the day, hissing now and then, and striving to 
regain his liberty. 

Ah ! is n't that a delicious supper which we sit 
down to out upon the prairies on the shores of 
Lightning Lake, — beyond the borders of civiliza- 
tion ! It is not mock turtle, but the genuine arti- 
cle, such as aldermen eat. True, we have tin cups 
and plates, and other primitive table furniture, but 
hunger sliarpens the appetite, and food is as tooth- 
some as if served on gold-bordered china. Be- 
sides turtle-soup we have fresh fish and boiled 
duck. Who is there that would not like to find 
such fare inside the borders of civilization ? 

Beyond Pope we entered Grant County, contain- 
ing 268,000 acres of land, nearly all open to set- 
tlement, and through which the r :ain line of the 
St. Paul and Pacific Ptailroad will be constructed 
the present year. The population of the entire 
county probably does not exceed five hundred, 
who are mostly Swedes and Norwegians. It is on 
the ridge, or, rather, the gentle undulating prairie, 
between tlie waters of the Eed River of the 
North and the Chippewa River, an affluent of the 
Minnesota. "VVe passed between two small lakes ; 
the waters of one find their way to the Gulf of 
Mexico, the other to tlie Arctic Sea. 

Our second Sabbath camp was upon the bank of 
the Red River of the North, — a beautiful stream, 


winding its peaceful way through a country as 
fertile as the Delta of the Nile. 

For two days we had journeyed over rolling prai- 
rie, seeing no inhabitant ; but on Saturday after- 
noon we reached the great thoroughfare leading 
from the Mississippi to the Eed River, — travelled 
by the Fort Abercrombie stage, and by the Pem- 
bina and Fort Garry carts, by government trains 
and the ox-teams that transport the suppHes of the 
Hudson Bay Company. 

Sitting there upon the bank of the Red River 
amid the tall, rank grasses, and watching the flow- 
ing stream, my thoughts went with its tide towards 
the Northern Sea. It has its rise a hundred miles 
or more north of us, near Lake Itasca, the source 
of the Mississippi, flows southward to this point, 
turns westward here, is joined below by a stream 
issuing from Lake Traverse, its most southern 
source, and then flows due north to Lake Winni- 
peg, a distance altogether of about five hundred 

It is the great southern artery of a water-sys- 
tem that lies almost wholly beyond the jurisdic- 
tion of the United States. 

The Assinniboine joins it just before reaching 
Lake Winnipeg, and up that stream we may 
steam due west two hundred and thirty miles to 
Fort Ellis. From Winnipeg we may pass eastward 
to the intricate Rainy Lake system towards Supe- 



rior, or westward into Lakes Manitoba and Winni- 
pegosis, which together contain as much water as 
Lake Erie. 

Sailing along the western shore of Lake "Winni- 
peg two hundred miles, we reach the mouth of the 
Saskatchawan, large enough to be classed as one 
of the great rivers of the continent. 

Professor Hind, of Toronto, who conducted a 
government exploring-party through the country 
northwest of Lake Superior, says : " The Saskatch- 
awan, which gathers the waters from a country 
greater in extent than tlie vast region drained by 
the St. Lawrence and all its tributaries, from Lake 
Superior to the Gulf, is navigable for more than a 
thousand miles of its course, with the single ex- 
ception of a few rapids near its confluence with 
Lake AVimiipeg." 

Professor Hind travelled from Fort Garry north- 
west over the prairies towards the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and gives the following description of his 
first view of the stream. He says : — 

" The first view, six hundred miles from the 
lake, filled me with astonishment and admiration, 
— nearly half a mile broad, flowing with a swift 
current, and still I was three hundred and fifty 
miles from the mountains." 

The small steamer now plying on the Red River 
might, during the season of high water, make its 
way from Fort Abercrombie down this river, then 


throngli Lake Winnipeg, and up the Saskatchawan 
westward to the base of the Eocky ^lountains, — 
a distance altogether of sixteen hundred miles. 

We are in the latitude of the continental water- 
system. If we travel along the parallel eastward, 
one hundred miles will bring us to the Mississippi 
at Crow Wing, another hundred will take us to 
Lake Superior, where we may embark on a propel- 
ler of five hundred tons and make our way down 
through the lakes and the St. I^awrence to Liver- 
pool, or any other foreign port ; or travelling west 
three hundred miles will bring us to the Missouri, 
where w^e may take one of the steamers plying on 
that stream and go up to Fort Benton under the 
shadow of the Rocky Mountains. 

Two hundred and fifty miles farther by land, 
through the mining region of Montana, will bring 
lis to the navigable waters of the Columbia, down 
which w^e may glide to the Pacific. 

Nowhere in the Eastern hemisphere is there such 
a succession of lakes and navigable rivers, and no 
other country exhibits such an area of arable land 
so intersected by fresh-water streams. 

It would be an easy matter by canals to connect 
the Red River, the Saskatchaw\an, and Lake Win- 
nipeg with the Mississippi. We can take a canoe 
from this point and paddle up to Otter-Tail Lake, 
and there, by carrying it a mile or so over a 
sand-ridge, launch it on Leaf River, an affluent of 


the Crow-Wing, and so reacli the Father of Waters. 
We may do even better than that. Instead of 
paddling up stream we may float down with the 
current a few miles to the outlet of Lake Traverse, 
row across the lake, and from that into Big Stone 
Lake, which is the source of the Minnesota Eiver, 
and l)y this route reach the ^lississippi below 
Minneapolis. Boats carrying two tons have fre- 
quently passed from one river to the other during 
the season of high water. It would not be diffi- 
cult to construct a canal by which steamers might 
pass from the Mississippi to the base of the Rocky 
Mountains in British Columbia. Eailroads are 
superseding canals, and it is not likely that any 
such improvement of the water-way will be at- 
tempted during the present generation. 

But a glance at the river and lake systems en- 
ables us to obtain a view of the physical features 
of the country. We see that the northwestern 
portion of the continent is an extended plain. 
The Red River here by our encampment is about 
nine hundred and sixty feet above the sea. If we 
were to float down to Lake Winnipeg, we should 
find that sheet of water three hundred feet lower. 

Our camp is pitched to-day about ten miles west 
of the 9Gth meridian. If we were to travel south 
from this point 350 miles, we should reach Omaha, 
which is 946 feet above the sea, so that if we were 
sitting on the bank of the Missouri at that point, 


we should be just about as high above tide-water 
as we are while lolling here in the tall rank grass. 
By going from Omaha to San Francisco over the 
Pacific Railroad, we see the elevations of tlie coun- 
try ; then by striking westward from this point to 
the head-waters of the Missouri, and then down 
the Columbia^ we shall see at once the physical 
features of the two sections. The engineers of the 
Pacific Eailroad, after gaining the top of the bluff 
behind Omaha, have a long and apparently level 
sweep before them. Yet there is a gradually as- 
cending grade. Four hundred and eighty-five miles 
west of Omaha we come to the 104th meridian, at 
an elevation of 4,861 feet. If we go west from 
this point to that meridian, we shall strike it at 
the mouth of the Yellowstone, 1,970 feet above 
tide- water. Near the 105th meridian is the high- 
est point on the Union Pacific, at Sherman, which 
is 8,235 feet above the sea. Three hundred miles 
beyond Sherman, at Green Eiver, is the lowest 
point between Omaha and the descent into Salt 
Lake Valley, 6,112 feet above the ocean level. At 
that point we are about twenty-six miles west of 
the 110th meridian. Now going northward to the 
valley of the Missouri once more, we find that Fort 
Benton is about the same number of miles west 
of the same meridian, but the fort is only 2,747 
feet above the sea. 
Just beyond Fort Benton we come to the Rocky 


Mountains, — the only range to be crossed between 
Lake Superior and the Columbia. We enter the 
Deer Lodge Pass near the 112th meridian, Avhere 
our barometer will show us that we are about five 
thousand feet above the sea. We find that the 
miners at work on the western slope have cut a 
canal through the pass, and have turned the waters 
of the Missouri into the Columbia. The pass is 
so level that the traveller can hardly tell when 
he has reached the dividing line. 

Going south now along the meridian, we shall 
find that between Green Eiver nnd Salt Lake lies 
the Wasatch Range, which the Union Pacific cross- 
es at an elevation of 7,463 feet at Aspen Station, 
940 miles west of Omaha. From that point the 
line descends to Salt Lake, which is 4,220 feet 
above the sea. Westward of this, on the 115th 
meridian, 1,240 miles from Omaha, we reach the 
top of Humboldt Mountains, 6,169 feet above tide- 
water, while the elevation is only 1,500 feet on the 
same meridian in the valley of the Columbia. 

At Humboldt Lake, 1,493 miles west of Omaha, 
the rails are at the lowest level of the mountain 
region, 4,047 feet above the sea. This is a little 
west of the 119th meridian, about the same longi- 
tude as Walla Walla on the great plain of the Co- 
lumbia, which is less than 400 feet above the sea. 

Westward of Humboldt Lake the Central Line 
rises to the summit of the Sierra Nevadas, crossing 


them 7,042 feet above the sea, tlien descending at 
the rate of 116 feet to the mile into the valley of 
the Sacramento. 

Now going back to the plains, to the town of 
Sidney, which is 410 miles west of Omalia, we fmd 
the altitude there the same as at Humboldt Lake. 
This level does not show itself again till we are 
well down on the western slope of the Sierra Ne- 
vada Eange. The entire country between Omaha 
and Sacramento, with the exception of about 510 
miles, is above the level of 4,000 feet, while on the 
hne westward from the point where I am indul- 
ging in this topographical revery there are not 
thirty miles reaching that altitude. 

With this glance at the configuration of the con- 
tinent I might make an isometric map in the sand 
with my fingers, heaping it up to represent the 
Black Hills at Sherman, a lower ridcje to indicate 
the Wasatch Eange, a depression to show the Salt 
Lake Valley, and then another high ridge to repre- 
sent the Sierra Nevadas. I might trace the chan- 
nel of the Missouri and the Columbia, and show 
that most of this territory is a great plain sloping 
northward, — that it is lower at Winnipeg than it 
is here, as low here as it is at Omaha. 

Taking this glance at the physical features of 
the northern and central portions of the continent, 
I can see that nature has adapted all this vast 
area drained by the Missouri and Yellowstone and 



Sacramento and Portland. 

Sierra Nevada, 7,042 feet. 

• Humboldt Lake, 4,047 feet. 

Humboldt Mountains, 6,169 feet. 

Clark's River, 3,700 feet. 
Salt Lake, 4,220 feet. 
Deer Lodge Pass, 5,000 feet. 

Wasatch Range, 7, 463 feet. 
Fort Benton, 2,747 feet. 
Green River, 6,112 feet. 

Sherman, 8,235 feet. 
104th Meridian, 4,861 feet. 

Omaha and Red River, 946 feet. 


tlieir tributaries, by the Mississippi, by the Eed 
Eiver, the Assinniboine, the Saskatcha>van, and 
the Columbia, to be the abode, in tlie future, of 
uncounted millions of tlie human race. 

It is a solitude now, but the vanguard of the 
ap]»roaching multitude is near at hand. Tlie 
fanner who lives up the stream and tends the ferry 
where we crossed yesterday has one neighbor with- 
in twelve miles ; but a twelvemonth hence these 
acres will have many farm-houses. To-day we 
have listened to a sermon by the Eev. Dr. Lord, 
wlio preached beneath a canvas roof. We were 
called together by the blowing of a tin trumpet, 
but a year hence the sweet and solemn tones of 
church-bells will in all probability echo over these 
verdant meadows. 

The locomotive — that great civilizer of this 
century — will be here before the flowers bloom in 
the spring of 1871. It will bring towns, villages, 
churches, school-houses, printing-presses, and mil- 
Hons of free people. I sit as in a dream. I can 
hear, in imagination, the voices of the advancing 
multitude, — of light-hearted maidens and sober 
matrons, of bright-eyed boys and strong-armed 
men. The wild roses are bloomin*^ here to-dav, 
the sod is as yet unturned, and the lilies of the 
field hold up their cups to catch the falling dew ; 
hut another year will bring the beginning of the 
change. Civilization, which has crossed the Mis- 


sissippi, will soon flow down this stream, and sweep 
on to the valley of the Upper ^Missouri. 

Tliink of it, young men of the East, you wlio 
are measuring off tape for young ladies throuiili 
the long and wearisome hours, barely earning your 
living ! Throw down the yardstick and come out 
here if you would be men. Let the fresh breeze 
fan your brow, take hold of the plough, bend down 
for a few years to hard work with determination 
to win nobility, and success will attend your etfbrts. 
Is this too enthusiastic ? Will those wlio read it 
say, "He has lost his head and gone daft out 
there on the prairies " ? Not quite. I am an ob- 
server here, as I have been in other lands. I liave 
ridden many times over the great States of the 
Northwest ; have seen the riches of Santa Clara 
and Napa west of the Sierra Nevadas ; have looked 
out over the meadows of the Yangtse and the 
Nile, and can say, with honest conviction, that I 
have seen nowhere so inviting a field as that of 
Minnesota, none with greater undeveloped wealtli. 
or with such prospect of quick development. 




MONDAY morning saw ns on our way north- 
ward, — down the Talley of the lied liiver. 

It was exhilarating to gaUop over the level 
prairies, inhaling the fresh air, our horses brush- 
ing the dew from the grass, and to see flocks of 
plump prairie chickens rise in the air and whirr 
away, — to mark where they settled, and then to 
start them again and bring them down, one by one, 
with a double-barrelled shot-gun. Did Ave not think 
of the stews and roasts we would have at night ? 

For a dozen years or more every school-boy has 
seen upon his map the town of Breckenbridge, 
located on the Eed River of the North. It is off 
from the travelled road. The town, as one of our 
teamsters informed us, " has gone up." It origi- 
nally consisted of two houses and a saw-mill, 
but the Sioux Indians swooped down upon it in 
18G2, and burned the whole place. A few logs, 
the charred remains of timbers, and tall fire- weeds 
alone mark the spot. 

Eiding on, we readied Fort Abercrombie at noon. 
It is situated in Dakota, on the west bank of the 
Red River, Avhich we crossed by a rope ferry. It 


is a rcstiiipf-place for the thousands of teams pass- 
ing hcitween St. Cloud and I'ort (Jarry, and otlior 
places in tho ftir Kortliwest. The place is of no 
particular account except as a di8ti'il)uting point 
for government supplies for forts fartlier on, and 
the advancement of civilization will soon enable tlie 
War Department to break up the establishment. 

The river is fringed with tindjer. We ride 
beneath stately oaks growing upon the bottom- 
lands, and notice upon the trees tlie higli-water 
marks of former years. The stream is very wind- 
ing, and when the spring rains come on the rise is 
as great, though not usually so rapid, as in the 
Merrimac and Connecticut, and otlier rivers of 
the East. 

The valley of the Eed River is not such as we 
are accustomed to see in the East, bounded bv 
hills or mountains, but a level plain. 

When the sky is clear and the air serene, we 
can catch far away in the east the faint outline 
of the Leaf Hills, composing the low ridge between 
the Eed Eiver and the Mississippi, but westward 
there is notlnng to bound the sight. The dead 
level reaches on and on to the rolling prairies of 
the Upper Missouri. 

The eye rests only upon the magnificent carpet, 
bright with wild roses and petunias, lilies and 
harebells, which Nature has unrolled upon the 
floor of this gorgeous palace. 


I had been slow to Lelieve jill that had hocn told 
in regard to the «^'eiiial climate ol' the Northwest, 
but through the courtesy of tlie commandunt of the 
Fort, General Hunt, was permitted to see the me- 
teorological records ke])t at the post. 

The sunniier of 18G8 was excessively warm in 
the Western, Middle, and Atlantic States. Here, 
on one day in July, the mercury rose to ninety 
degrees, Falu'enheit, 1)ut the mean temperature 
fur the month was seventy-nine. In August the 
liighust temperature was eighty-eight, the lowest 
fifty, the mean sixty-nine. In September the 
liigliest temperature was seventy-four, the mean 
forty-seven. A slight frost occurred on the night 
of the IGtli, and a hard one on the last day of 
the month. In October a few Hakes of snow 
fell on the 27tli. In November there were a few 
inches of snow. Toward the close of December, 
on one day, the mercury reached twenty-seven 
below zero. On the 30th of January it dropped 
to thirty below. During this month there were 
four days on which snow fell, and in February 
there were ten snowy days. The greatest depth of 
snow during the winter was about eighteen inches, 
furnishing uninterrupted sleighing from December 
to March. 

On the 23d of Marcli wild geese and ducks ap- 
peared, winging their way to Lake Winnipeg and 
Hudson Bay. The spring opened early in April. 


There are no farms as yet in the valley, — the 
few settlers cultivating only small patches ot land, 
I have thought of this section of country as Lenig 
almost up to the arctic circle, and can only disahuse 
my mind by comparing it with other localities in 
the same latitude. St. Paul is in the latitude of 
Bordeaux, in the grape-growing district of Soutli- 
ern France. Here at Fort Abercrombie we are at 
least one hundred and fifty miles farther south 
than the world's gayest capital, Paris. 

It is not likely that Xorthern Minnesota will 
ever become a wine-producing country, though wild 
grapes are found along the streams, and the people 
of St. Paul and Minneapolis will show us thrifty 
vines in their gardens, laden with heavy clusters. 
Minnesota is a wheat-growing region, chniate 
and soil are alike favorable to its production. 

On the east bank of the Ked Eiver we see a 
field owned by Mr. McAuley, who keeps a store 
and sells boots, pipes, tobacco, powder, shot, and 
all kinds of supplies needed by hunters and fron- 
tiersmen. He sowed his wheat this year (1869) 
on the 5th. of INIay, and it is now, on the 19tli of 
July, heading out. " I had forty-five liushels to 
the acre last year," he says, " and the present crop 
will be equally good." 

This Pied Eiver Valley throughout its lengtli 
and breadth is very fertile. Here are twenty thou- 
sand square miles of land, — an area as large as 


Vermont and New Ilampsliire combined, — unsur- 
passed for richness. 

The construction of the Northern Pacific Rail- 
road and the St. Paul and Pacific, both of which 
are to reach this valley within a few months, will 
make these lands virtually as near market as the 
farms of Central or Western Illinois. From the 
lied River to D ninth the distance is 210 miles in 
a direct line. It is 187 miles from Chicago to 
Springfield, Illinois ; so that when the Nortlicrn 
Pacific Railroad is constructed to tlus point, Mr. 
McAuley will be just as near Boston or New York 
as the farmers who live in the vicinity of the capi- 
tal of Illinois ; for grain can be taken from Duluth 
to Buffalo, Oswego, or Ogdensburg as cheaply as 
from Chicago. The richness of the lands, the sup- 
ply of timber on the Red River and all its branch- 
es, with the opening of the two lines of railway, 
will give a rapid settlement to this paradise of the 

Professor Hind, of Toronto, who was sent out by 
the Canadian government to explore the British 
Possessions northwest of Lake Superior, in his re- 
port says : " Of the valley of the Red River I find 
it impossible to speak in any other terms than 
those which may express astonishment and admi- 
ration. I entirely concur in the brief but expres- 
sive description given me by an English settler on 
the Assinniboine, that the valley of the Red River, 


including a large portion belonging to its great af- 
fluents, is a paradise of fertility." 

In jNIr. IMcAuley's garden we see corn in the 
spindle. The broad leaves wear as rich a green as 
if fertilized with the best Peruvian guano ; and no 
wonder, for tlie soil is a deep black loam, and as 
mellow as an ash-heap. His peas were sown the 
2d of June, and they are already large enough 
for the table ! He will have an abundant sup2)ly 
of cucumbers by the first of August. They were 
not started under glass, but the dry seeds were 
dropped in the hills the same day he planted his 
peas, — the 2d of June. 

Vegetation advances with great rapidity. Mr. 
McAuley says tliat vegetables and grains come 
to maturity ten or fifteen days earlier here than at 
Manchester, New Hampshire, where he once re- 

General Pope was formerly stationed at Fort 
Abercrombie ; and in his report upon the resources 
of the country and its climatology, says that tlie 
wheat, upon an average, is five pounds per bushel 
heavier than that grown in Illinois or the Middle 

We saw yesterday a gentleman and lady who 
live at Fort Garry, and who call themselves " Win- 
nipeggers." They were born in Scotland, and had 
been home to Old Scotia to see their friends. 

" How do you like Winnipeg ? " I asked. 



"There is no finer country in the world/' he 

" Do you not have cold winters ? " 

"Not remarkably so. We have a few cold days, 
but the air is usually clear and still on such days, 
and we do not mind the cold. If we only had a 
railroad, it would he the finest place in the world 
to live in." 

We wonder at his entlnisiasm over a country 
wliich we have thought of as being almost, if not 
quite, out of the world, while he doubtless looks 
with pity upon us who are content to remain in 
such a cooped-up place as the East. 

Most of us, unless we have become nomads, 
think that there are no garden patches so attrac- 
tive as our own, and we wonder how other people 
can be willing to live so far off. 

This Winnipeg gentleman says that the wiiiters 
are no more severe at Fort Garry than at St. Paul, 
and that the sj^ring opens quite as early. 

The temperature for the year at Fort Garry is 
mucli like that of Montreal, as will be seen by the 
following comparison : — 





Port Garry, 











This shows the mean temperatures for the three 
months of each season. Though the mercury is 
ten degrees lower at Fort Garry in the Avinter than 
at Montreal, there is less wind, fewer raw days, 
much less snow, and, taken all in all, the climate is 
more agreeable. 

Bidding good by to the courteous commander of 
the fort, who supplies that portion of our party 
going to the Missouri with an escort, we gallop on 
through this " Paradise," starting flocks of plovers 
from the waving grass, and bringing down, now 
and then, a prairie chicken. 

Far away, on the verge of the horizon, we can 
see our wagons, — mere specks. 

Wliat a place for building a railway ! Not o. 
hillock nor a hollow, not a curve or loss of gra- 
dient ; timber enough on the river for ties. And 
when bidlt, what a place to let on steam ! The 
engineer may draw his throttle- valve and give the 
piston full head. Here wdll be the place to see 
what iron, steel, and steam can do. 

We pitch our tents for the night in the suburbs 
of Burlington, not far from the hotel and post- 
office. The hotel, which just now is the only 
building in town, is built of logs. It is not very 
spacious inside, but it has all the universe out- 
side ! 

Once a week the mail-carrier passes from Fort 
Abercrombie to Pembina, and as there are a liaK- 





dozen pioneers and lialf-breeds within a radius of 
tliirty miles of Burlington, a post-office has been 
established here, which is kept in a shed adjoining 
the hotel. 

The postmaster gives us a cordial greeting. It 
is a pleasure to hear this bluff but wide-awako 
German say, " 0, I have been acquainted with 
you for a long wliile. I followed you through the 
war and around the world." 

From first to last, in letters from the battle-field, 
from the various countries of tlie world, and in 
these notes of travel, it has ever been my aim to 
write for the comprehension of the people ; and 
such spontaneous and uncalled-for commendation 
of my efforts out here upon the prairies was more 
grateful than many a well-meant paragraph Irom 
tlie public press. 

While pitching our tents, a flock of pigeons flew 
past, and down in the woods along the bank of 
tlie river we could hear their cooing. Those who 
had shot-guns went to the hunt ; while some of 
us tried the river for fish, but returned luckless. 
The supper was good enough, however, without 
trout or pickerel. Who can ask for anything 
better than prairie chicken, plover, duck, pork, 
and pigeons ? 

Then, when hunger is appeased, we sit around 
tlie camp-fire and think of the future of this para- 
dise. Near by is another camp-fire. 


I see by its glimmering light a stalwart man 
with shaggy beard and a slouched hat. The emi- 
grant's wife sits on the other side of the fire, and 
by its light I see that she wears a faded linsey- 
woolsey dress, that lier hair is uncombed, and tliat 
she has not given much attention to her toilet. 
Two frowzy-headed children, a boy and a girl, are 
romping in the grass. The worldly effects of this 
family are in that canvas-covered ox-wagon, with 
a chicken-coop at the hinder part, and a tin kettle 
dangling beneath the axle. This emigrant has 
come from Iowa. He is moving into this valley 
" to take up a claim." That is, he is going to se- 
lect a piece of choice land under the Homestead 
Act, build a cabin, and " make a break in the per- 
ra-ry," he says. 

He will be followed by others. The tide is 
setting in rai)idly, and by the time the railway 
conqmny are ready to carry freight there will be 
population enough here to support the road. 

We have an early start in the morning. Our 
route is along a highway, upon which there is more 
travel than upon many of the old turnj)ikes of 
New England for Winnipeg, and the Hudson Bay 
posts receive all their supplies over this road. 

At our noonday halt we fall in with Father 
Genin, a French Catholic priest, who lives on the 
bank of the river in a log-hut. He comes out to 
see us, wearing a long black bombazine priestly 


gown, and low-crowned hat. He is in the prime 
of life, was educated at Paris, came to Quebec, and 
is assigned to the Northwest. He has sailed over 
Lake Winnipeg, and paddled his canoe on the Sas- 
katchawan and Athabasca. 

" My parish," he says, " reaches from St. Paul to 
the Iiocky Mountains." He speaks in glowing 
terms of the country up " in the Northwest," — as 
if we, who are now sixteen hundred miles from 
Boston, had not reached the Northwest ! 

Our talk with Father Genin, and his enthusias- 
tic description of the Saskatchawan Valley, has 
set us to thinking of this region, to whicli the 
United States once held claim, and which might 
now have been a part of our domain if it had not 
been for the pusillanimity of President Polk. 

Mackenzie was the first European who gave to 
the world an account of the country lying between 
us and the Arctic Sea. He was in this valley in 
1789, and was charmed with it. He made his 
way down to Lake Winnipeg, thence up the Sas- 
katchawan to Athabasca Lake. At the carrying- 
place between the Saskatchawan and Athabasca 
rivers, at Portage la Loche, he discovered springs 
of petroleum, whicli are thus described : — 

" Twenty-five miles from the fork are some 
bituminous springs, into which a pole may be 
inserted without the least resistance. The bitumen 
is in a fluid state, and when mixed with resin is 


used to gum the canoes. In its heated state it 
emits a smell like sea-coal. The banks of Slave 
Eiver, which are elevated, discover veins of the 
same bituminous (quality." * 

His winter quarters were near Lake Athabasca, 
at Fort Chippewayan, more than thirteen hundred 
miles northwest from Chicago. He thus writes in 
regard to the country : — 

" In the fall of 1787, when I first arrived at 
Athabasca, Mr. Pond was settled on the bank of the 
Elk lUver, where he remained three years, and had 
as fine a kitchen-garden as I ever saw in Canada " 
(p. 127). 

Of the climate in winter he says that the be- 
ginning was cold, and about one foot of snow fell. 
Tlie last week in December and the first week in 
January were marked by warm southwest breezes, 
which dissolved all the snow. Wild geese ap- 
peared on the 13th of March ; and on the 5th of 
April the snow had entirely disappeared. On the 
20th he wrote : — 

" The trees are budding, and many plants are in 
blossom" (p. 150). 

Mackenzie left the " Old Establishment," as one 
of the posts of the Hudson Bay Company was 
called, on the Peace Eiver, in the month of May, 
for the Kocky Mountains. He follow^ed the stream 
through the gap of the mountains, passed to the 

* General History of the Fur-Trade, p. 87. 


head- waters of Fraser River, and descended that 
stream to the Pacific. He thus describes the coun- 
try along the Peace lUver : — 

" This magnificent theatre of nature has all the 
decorations winch the trees and animals can afford 
it. Groves of poplars in every shape vary the 
scene, and their intervales are relieved with vast 
herds of elk and hufCaloes, — the former choosing 
the steeps and uplands, the latter preferring the 
plains. The whole country displayed an exube- 
rant verdure; the trees that bear blossoms were 
advancing fast to that delightful appearance, and 
the velvet rind of tlieir Ijranches reflecting the 
oblique rays of a rising or setting sun added a 
splendid gayety to the scene which no expressions 
of mine are qualified to describe" (p. 154). 

This was in latitude 55° 17', about fourteen hun- 
dred miles from St. Paul. 

The next traveller who enlightened the world 
upon this region was Mr. Harman, a native of Yer- 
gennes, Vermont, who became connected with the 
Northwest Fur Company, and passed seventeen 
years in British America. He reached Lake Win- 
nipeg in 1800, and his first winter was passed 
west of the lake. Under date of January 5th we 
have this record in his journal : — 

" Beautiful weather. Saw in different herds at 
least a thousand buffaloes grazing " (p. 68). 

" February 17th. — We have now about a foot 


and a lialf of snow on the gronncl. This morninfr 
one of our people killed a buH'alo on the prairie 
opposite the fort " (p. 73). 

" March 14:th. — The greatei part of the snow is 
dissolved." * 

On the Gth of April Mr. Harman writes : " I 
have taken a ride on horseback to a place wliere 
our people are making sugar. My path led nie 
over a small prairie, and through a wood, where I 
saw a great variety of birds that were straining 
their tuneful throats as if to welcome tiie return 
of another spring ; small animals were running 
about, or skipping from tree to tree, and at the 
same time were to be seen, swans, bustards, ducks, 
etc. swimming about in the rivers and ponds. All 
these things together rendered my ramble beautiful 
beyond description " (p. 75). 

During the month of April there w^ere two 
snow-storms, but the snow disappeared nearly as 
fast as ^'t fell. 

One winter was passed by Mr. Harman in the 
country beyond Lake Athabasca, on the Athabasca 
River, where he says the snow during the winter 
"was at no time more than two feet and a half 
deep " (p. 174). 

* On the 16th of March, 1870, while these notes were under 
review, the streets of Boston were deep with snow, and twenty- 
four trains were blockaded on the Boston and Albany Kailroad 
between Springfield and Albany. 


On May Gtli lie writes : " We have planted our po- 
tatoes and sowed most of our garden-seeds " (p. 17H). 

" June 2(1. — The seeds which we sowed in the 
garden have sprung up and grown reniarkahly 
well. The present prospect is that strawberries, 
red ra,si)berries, shad-ljerries, cherries, etc. will bo 
abundant this season." 

" Jubf 2\st. — We have cut down our barley, 
and I think it is the fnicst that I ever saw in any 
country. The soil on the points of land along 
this river is excellent" (p. 181). 

" October 2nl. — We have taken our potatoes out 
of the ground, and iind that nine bushels which 
we planted on the 10th of May last have X)roduced 
a little more than one hundred and fifty bushels. 
The other vegetables in our garden have yielded 
an increase much in the same proportion, Avhich is 
suflicient proof that the soil of the points of land 
along this river is good. Indeed, I am of opinion 
that wheat, rye, barley, oats, peas, etc. would grow 
well in the plains around us " (p. 186). 

He passed several winters at the head-waters of 
Peace .Eiver, in the Eocky Mountains. In his 
journal we have these records : — 

" May 7th. — The weather is very fine, and vege- 
tation is far advanced for the season. Swans and 
ducks are numerous in the lakes and rivers." 

" May 22cl — Planted potatoes and sowed gar- 




"Odoher M. — We have taken our vegetablcis 
out of the ground We liave forty-one bushels of 
potatoes, tlie produce of one bushel planted la^t 
spring. Our turnips, barley, etc. have j)roduce(l 
well " (p. 257). 

In 1814 he writes under date of Septemljcr 
3d : " A few days since we cut down our barley. 
The five (piarts which I sowed on the 1st of ^lay 
have yielded as many bushels. One acre of 
ground, pj'oducing in the same proportion, would 
yield eighty-four bushels. This is sufficient proof 
that the soil in many places in this quarter is 
favorable to agriculture " (j). 2G7). 

Sir John Ilichardson, who explored the arctic 
regions by this route, says : " Wheat is rais 
with profit at Fort Liard, kt. 60° 5' N., Ion. 122' 
31' W., and four or five hundred feet above the sea. 
This locality, however, being in the vicinity of the 
Ptocky Alountains, is subject to summer frosts, and 
the grain does not ripen every year, tliougii in 
favorable seasons it gives a good return." 

In 1857, Captain Palliser, of the Koyal Engi- 
neers, was sent out by the English government 
to explore tlie region between Lake Superior and 
the racific, looking towards the construction of ii 
railroad across the continent, through the British 
Possessions. His report to the government is 
published in the Blue-Book. 

Speaking of the country along the Assinniboine, 


he says : "Tlie AssiniiiT)oiiio lias a course of nearly 
three hundred miles ; lies wliolly witliin a fertile 
and partially wooded country. The lower part of 
the valley ior seventy miles, before it joins tlic 
lied lliver, affords land of surpassing ri-jlmess and 
fertility" (p. 9). 

Of the South Saskatchawan, he says that "it 
flows through a tliick-wooded country" Tp. 10). 

Tlie natural features of the north branch of that 
river are set fortli in glowing language : — 

" Tlie richness of the natural pasture in many 
places on the Ncu^th Saskatchawan and its tril)- 
utary, Battle lliver, can hardly be exaggerated. 
Its value does not consist in its long rank grasses 
or in its great cpiantity, but from its fine quality, 
comprising nutritious species of grasses, along with 
natural vetches in great variety, which remain 
throughout the Avinter juicy and fit for the nour- 
ishment of stock. 

" Almost anywhere along the Saskatchawan a 
sufficiency of good soil is everywhere to be found, 
fit for all purposes, both for pasture and tillage, 
extending towards the thick- wooded hills, and also 
to be found in the region of the lakes, between 
Forts Pitt and Edmonton. In almost every direc- 
tion around Edmonton the land is fine, excepting 
only the hilly country at the higher level, such as 
the Beacon Hills ; even there there is nothing 
like sterility, only the surface is too much broken 


to be occupied wliile more level country can be 
obtained" (]). 10). 

Goinj^' n]) tlie Saskatciliiivan be discovered beds 
of coal, wliicb are thus descrj^)ed : — 

"In the u])perpart of the Saskatchawan country, 
coal of fine (piality occurs abundantly, and may 
hereafter Ije very useful. It is (piite fit to be cm- 
ployed in the smelting of iron irom tlie ore of that 
metal, which occurs in large (quantities in the same 
strata" (]). 11). 

Two hundrcid miles north of this coal dcnosit, 
Mackenzie discovered the springs of petroleum and 
coal strata along the baidvs of tlie streams. Har- 
man saw the same. 

I*alliser wintered on the Saskatchawan, and 
speaks thus of tlie climate: — 

"The climate in winter is more rigorous than 
that of Ked lliver, and partial thaws occur long 
before the actual opening of spring. The winter 
is nuicli tlie same in duration, but the amount of 
snow that falls rapidly decreases as we approach 
the mountains. The river generally freezes al)out 
the 12th of November, and breaks up from the 
17th to the 20th of April. During the winter 
season of five months the means of travelling and 
transport are greatly fjicilitated by the snow, the 
ordinary depth (jf which is sufficient for the use 
of sleighs, without at the same time being great 
enough to impede horses. 


" The whole of tliis ro^non of country would bo 
valu{il)lo, not only for a<,Ti culture;, 1)ut also for 
mixed |)Ui'])Oses of settlement. Tlie wliolc region 
is well wooded and watered, and enjoys a climate 
far preferal)le to that of either Sweden or Norway. 
I have not only seen excellent wheat, but Indian 
corn (wlii(;h will not succeed in England or Ire- 
land), ri])ening on Mr. Tratt's farm at the Qui 
A])i)elle Lakes in 1857" (p. 11). 

Father Iki Sniet, a Catholic missionary, in 1845 
crossed the liocky IMountains from IJritish Colum- 
liia, eastward to the head-waters of the south 
branch of the Saskatchawan, and passed along the 
eastern base of the mountains to Edmonton. He 
characterizes the country as " an ocean of prairies." 

" The entire region," lie says, "in the vicinity of 
tlie eastern chain of the llocky Mountains, serving 
as their base for thirty or sixty miles, is extremely 
fertile, abounding in forijsts, plains, prairies, lakes, 
streams, and mineral springs. The rivers and 
streams are iimumerable, and on every side offer 
situations favorable for the construction of mills. 
The northern and southern branches of the Sas- 
katchawan water the district I have traversed for 
a distance of about three hundred miles. Forests 
of pines, cypress, cedars, poplar and aspen trees, 
as well as others of different kinds, occupy a large 
])ortion of it. Tlie country would be capable of 
supporting a large population, and the soil is favor- 


able for the production of wheat, barley, potatoes, 
and beans, which grow here as Well as in the more 
southern countries." 

It is a region abundantly supplied with coal of 
the lignite formation. Father Genin has a speci- 
men of lignite taken from the banks of Maple 
lliver, about seven miles from our camp. It is a 
small branch of the Eed Kiver flowing from the 
west. If we were to travel northwest a little more 
than one hundred miles, we should come to the 
Little Souris or Mouse lUver, a l^ranch of the As- 
sinniboine, where we should find seams of the same 
kind of coal. Continuing on to the Saskatchawan, 
we shall find it appearing all along the river from 
Fort Edmonton to the Rocky Mountains, a distance 
of between three and four hundred miles. 

Dr. Hector, geologist to the exploring expedition 
under Captain Palliser, thus describes the coal on 
Eed Deer Eiver, a branch of the South Saskatcha- 
wan : — 

" The lignite forms beds of great thickness, one 
group of seams measuring twenty-five feet in thick- 
ness, of which twelve feet consist of pure compact 
lignite. At one point the seam was on fire, and the 
Indians say that for as long as they can remember 
the fire at this place has not been extinguished, 
summer or winter" (p. 233). 

Father De Smet passed down the river in 1845, 
and it was then on fire. If we were to travel 


nortliward from the Eed Doer to the Peace Eiver, 
we should find the same formation; and if we were 
to ghde dowm the Mackenzie towards the Arctic 
Sea, we should, according to the intrepid voyager 
wliose name it bears, find seams of coal along its 

Mr. Bourgeau, botanist to the Palliser Exploring 
Expedition, in a letter addressed to Sir William 
Hooker, lias the following remarks upon the ca]^a- 
hilities of the Northwest for supporting a dense 
population : — 

" It remains for me to call the attention of the 
English government to the advantages there would 
he in establishing agricultural districts in the vast 
plains of Rupert's Land, and particularly in the 
Saskatchawan, in the neighborliood of Fort Carl- 
toii. This district is much better adapted to the 
culture of staple crops than one would have been 
inclined to believe from this high latitude. In ef- 
fect, the few attempts at the culture of cereals 
already made in the vicinity of the Hudson Bay 
Company's posts demonstrate by their success how 
easy it would be to obtain products sufficiently 
large to remunerate the efforts of the agricultur- 
ist. Then, in order to put the land under cultiva- 
tion, it w^ould be necessary only to till the better 
portions of the soil. The prairies offer natural 
pasturage as favorable for the maintenance of nu- 
merous herds as if they had been artificially ere- 


ated. The construction of houses for habitation 
and for pioneer developnient woidd involve but 
little expense, because in many pai'ts of the coun- 
try, independent of wood, one would find fitting 
stones for building purposes, and it is easy to find 

clay for bricks The vetches found here aro 

as fitting for nourishment of cattle as the clover of 
European pasturage. The abundance of buffaloes, 
and the facility witli whicli herds of horses and 
oxen increase, demonstrate tliat it would be enough 
to shelter animals in Avinter, and to feed them 

in the shelters with hay In the gardens of 

the Hudson Bay Company's posts, beans, peas, 
and French beans have been successfully culti- 
vated ; also cabbages, turnips, carrots, rhubarb, and 
currants" (p. 250). 

The winters of the Northwest are wholly unlike 
those of the Eastern and Middle States. The 
meteorologist of Palliser's Expedition says : "Along 
the eastern base of the Eocky IMountains there is 
a narrow strip of country in which there is never 
more than a few inches of snow on the ground. 
About forty miles to the eastward, however, the 
fall begins to be much greater, but during the win- 
ter rarely exceeds two feet. On the prairies tlie 
snow evaporates rapidly, and, except in hollows 
where it is drifted, never accumidates ; but in the 
woods it is protected, and in spring is often from 
three to four feet deep" (p. 268). 


Captain Palliser and party travelled from post 
to post during the winter without difficulty. In 
February, 1859, he travelled from Edmonton to 
Lake St. Ann's. On two nights the mercury was 
frozen in the bulb, — as it is not unfrequently at 
Franconia, New Hampshire. Exclusive of those 
two cold nights, the mean of the temperature was 
seventeen. He says : " This was a trip made dur- 
ing the coldest weather experienced in the country. 
If proper precautions are taken, there is nothing 
merely in extreme cold to stop travelling in the 
wooded country, but the danger of freezing from 
exi)osure upon the open plains is so great that they 
cannot be ventured on Avith safety during any part 
of the winter" (p. 268). 

The Wesleyan Missionary Society of England 
has a mission at Edmonton, under the care of 
Rev. Thomas Woolsey. The following extracts 
from his journal will show the progress of the 
winter and spring season in 1855 : — 

" Nov. 1. A little snow has fallen for the first time. 

" 1 2. Swamps frozen over. 

" 13. A little more snow. 

" 17. Crossed river on the ice. 
Dec. 2. The past week has been remarkably mild. 

" 9. More snow. 
1856. Jan. 8 to 11. More like spring than winter. 
Jan. 13. Fine open weather. 

" 17. Somewhat colder. 


Feb. 14. Weather open. 

" IG. Snow rapidly disappearing. 

Mar. 11. More snow. 

" 1 7. Firing pasture-grounds to-day. 

" 18. Tlnuider-storm. 

" 21. Ducks and geese returning. 

" 30. More snow, but it is rapidly disappearing. 

" 31. Snow quite gone. 

April 7. Ploughing commenced. 

" 28. First wheat sown." 

The succeeding winter was more severe, and 
three feet of snow fell during the season, but the 
spring opened quite as early as in 1856. The 
comparative mildness of the winter climate of all 
this vast area of the West and NortliAvest, at the 
head-waters of the Missouri, and in the British 
dominions, as far north as latitude ^°, is in a great 
measure due to the warm winds of the Pacific. 

In the autumn of 18G8 I crossed the Pacific, 
from Japan to San Francisco, in the Pacific mail- 
steamer Colorado. Soon after leaving the Bay of 
Yokohama we entered the Kuro-Siwo, or the Black 
Ocean Eiver of the Asiatic coast. This ocean cur- 
rent bears a remarkable resemblance to the Gulf 
Stream of the Atlantic. Along the eastern shore 
of Japan the water, like that along Virginia and 
S the Carolinas, is very cold, but we suddenly pass 
\ into the heated river, which, starting from the 
vicinity of the Philippine Islands, laves the east- 


ei'ii sliorc of Formosa, and rushes past the Bay of 
Y"clilo at the rate of 'eighty miles per clay. Tliis 
lieatcd river strikes across the Nortliern Pacific to 
l^)ritish Columbia and Puget Sound, giving a genial 
cUmate nearly up to the Arctic Circle. No icebergs 
are ever encountered in the North Pacific. Tlie 
iiifhionce of the Kuro-Siwo upon the Northwest is 
very much like tliat which the Gulf Stream has 
ii])on England and Norway. It gives to Oregon, 
Washington, British Coluniljia, and Vancouver Isl- 
and winters so mild that the people cannot lay in 
a supply of ico'ivr the summer. Hoses bloom in 
the gardens throughout the year. So the water 
lieated beneath the tropics, off the eastern coast of 
Siain and north of Borneo, flows along the shore 
of Japan up to the Aleutian Isles, imparting its 
heat to the air, which, under the universal law, 
ascends when heated, and sweeps over che Eocky 
^lountains, and tempers the climate east of them 
almost to Hudson Bay. 

So wonderfully arranged is this mighty machin- 
ery of nature, that millions of the human race in 
coining years will rear their habitations and enjoy 
tlie l)lessings of civilization in regions that other- 
wise would be pathless solitudes. 

In the meteorological register kept at Carlton 
House, in lat. 52° 51', on the eastern limit of the 
Saskatchawan Plain, eleven hundred feet above the 
sea, we find this entry : " At this place westerly 



winds l)i'ing mild weather, and the easterly ones 
are attended by fo^; and snow." 

By tlie following tabular statement we see at a 
glance the snow-fall at various places in the United 
States. "VVe give average depths for the winter as 
set down in Blodget's climatology. 

Oxford County, Maine 

Dover, New Hampshire 

Montreal, Canada .... 

Burlington, Vermont . 

Worcester, Massachusetts 

Cincinnati, Ohio .... 

Burlington, Iowa .... 

Beloit, Wisconsin 

Fort Abercrombie, Dakota 

From this testimony I am impelled to believe 
that the immense area west of Lake Superior and 
south of the GOth parallel is as capal)le of being 
settled as those portions of Eussia, Sweden, and 
Norway south of that degree, now swarming with 
j)eople. Tliat parallel passes through St. Peters- 
burg, Stockholm, Christian ia, and the Shetland 
Isles on the eastern hemisphere, Fort Liard and 
Central Alaska on the western. 














HUXDTiEDS of "\Vinnipeg[]jcrs wore upon the 
road, eitlier j^oing to or returning trom St. 
Cluiid, from wlience all groceriv'S and other sup- 
plies are obtained. The. teams consist of a single 
horse or ox, not unfrequently a cow, harnessed to 
a two-wheeled cart. The outfit is a curiosity. The 
wheels are six or seven feet in diameter, and very 
dishing. A small rack is affixed to the wooden 
axle. The concern is composed wholly of wood, 
with a few raw-hide thongs. It is primitive in 
design and construction, and though so rude, though 
tliere is not an ounce of iron about the cart, it 
serves the purpose of these voyagers admirably. 
Our teams have been stuck in the mud, at the 
crossings of creeks, half a dozen times a day ; but 
those high- wheeled carts are borne up by the grass 
roots where ours go down to the hub. 

There is a family to each cart, — father, mother, 
and a troop of frowzy-headed, brown-faced chil- 
dren, who, though shoeless and hatless and half 
naked, are as happy as the larks singing in the 
meadows, or the plover skimming the air on quiv- 
ering wings. They travel in companies, — fifteen 


or twenty carts in a caravan. Wlien night conies 
on, the animals are turned out to graze ; the fami- 
lies cook each their. own scanty supply of food, 
smoke their pipes by the glimmering camp-fire, 
tell their stories of adventure among the buffaloes, 
roll themselves in a blanket, creep beneath their 
carts, — all the family in a pile if the night is cool, 
— sleep soundly, and are astir before daylight, and 
on the move by sunrise. T]ie journey down and 
back is between eight and nine hundred miles ; and 
as the average distance travelled is only about 
twenty miles a day, it takes from forty to fifty 
days to make the round trip. No wonder the 
people of that settlement are anxious to have a 
railroad reach the Eed Eiver. 

Leaving the Pembina road and striking west- 
ward to the river, we descend tlie bank to the 
bottom-land, which is usually about twenty-five 
feet below the general surface of the valley. We 
cross the river by a rope ferry kept by a half-breed, 
and strike out upon the Dakota plain. The trail 
that we are upon bears northwest, and is the main 
road to "Fort Totten, near Lake Miniwakan, or the 
" Devil's Lake," and the forts on the Upper Mis- 
souri. Here, as upon the Minnesota side, the wild- 
flowers are blooming in luxuriance. Our horses 
remorselessly trample the roses, the convolvulus, 
and the lilies beneath their feet. 

The prairie chickens are whirring in every direc- 


tion, and one of our bluff and burly teamsters, who 
is at home upon the prairies, who in the First Min- 
nesota Ilegiment faced the llebels in all the battles 
of the Peninsula, who was in the thickest of the 
fight at Gettysburg, who has hunted Indians over 
the Upper Missouri region, who is as keen-sighted 
as a hawk, takes the grouse right and left as 
they rise. His slouched liat bobs up and down 
everywhere. He seems to know just where the 
gam» is ; now he is at your right hand, now upon 
the run a half-mile away upon the prairies. He 
stops, raises his gun, — there is a puff of smoke, 
another, and he has two more chickens in his bag. 
We are sure of having good suppers as long as he 
is about. 

AVe reach Dakota City, — another thriving town 
of one log-house, — peopled by Monsieur Marchaud, 
a French Canadian, his Chippewa wife and twelve 
children. - 

While our tents are being pitched, we cross the 
river by another ferry to Georgetown, — a place 
consisting of two dwellings and a large storeho.use 
owned by the Hudson Bay Company. This is the 
present steamboat landing, though sometimes the 
one steamer now on the river goes up to Fort 
Abercrombie. The river is narrow and winding 
south of this point, and not well adapted to navi- 

We find an obliging young Scotchman with a 


thin-l'aced wife in possession of the property be- 
longing to the Company. He takes care of the 
premises througliXhe year on a salary of two hun- 
dred dollars, and has his tea, sugar, and groceries 
furnished him. He can cultivate as much land as 
he pleases, though he does not own a foot of it, — 
neither does the Company own an acre. It belongs 
to the people of the United States, and any brave 
young man with a large-hearted wife may become 
possessor of these beautiful acres if he will, witli 
the moral certainty of finding them quadrupled in 
value in five years. 

This great highway of the North lies along the 
eastern bank of the river. We hcve travelled over 
it all the w^ay from Fort Abercrombie, passing and 
meeting teams. Here we see a train of thirty 
wagons drawn by oxen, loaded with goods consist- 
ing of boxes of tea, sugar, salt, pork, bacon, and 
bales of cloth, which are shipped by steamer from 
this landing. The teas come from England to 
Montreal, are there shipped to Milwaukie, and 
transported by rail to St. Cloud. Each chest is 
closely packed in canvas and taken through in 
bond. The transportation of the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany between this place and St. Cloud amounts to 
about seven hundred tons per annum. 

In addition, the Eed Eiver transportation car- 
ried on by the Indians and half-breeds is very 
large. About twenty-five hundred carts pass down 


and up this highway during the year, each one 
carrying upon an average nine hundred pounds. 

Besides all this there is the United States gov- 
ernment transportation to Fort Abercrombie and 
the forts beyond, amounting last year to eighteen 
liundred tons. The rates paid by the War Depart- 
ment government for transportation are S 1.3GJ per 
liundred pounds for every liundred miles. All of 
this traffic will be transferred at once to the North- 
ern Pacific Eailroad upon its completion to the Red 

The estimated value of the lied River trade is 
ten millions of dollars per annum, and it is in- 
creasing every year. 

The keen-eyed hunters of our party have been 
on the lookout for a stray buffalo or a deer, but 
the buffaloes are a hundred miles away. We liear 
that they have come north of the Missouri in great 
numbers, and those who are to go West antici- 
pate rare F.j^ort. For want of a buffalo-steak we 
put up with beef. It is juicy and tender, from one 
of Mr. Marchaud's heifers, which has been pur- 
chased for the party. 

It is a supper fit for sovereigns, — and every one 
is a sovereign out here, on the unsursoyed lands, 
of which we, in common with the rest of the peo- 
ple, are proprietors. We are lords of the manor, 
and we have sat down to a feast. Our eggs are 
newly laid by the hens of Dakota City, our milk 

4» 9 


is fresh from the cows whose bells are tinkling in 
the bushes along the bank of the river, and the 
cakes upon our table are of the finest flour in 
the world. Hunger furnishes the best relish, and 
when the cloth is removed we sit around the 
camp-fire during the evening, passing away tlie 
hours with wit, repartee, and jest, mingled with 
sober argument and high intellectual thought. 

Our tents are pitched upon the river's bank. 
Far away to the south we trace the dim outline 
of the timber on the streams flowing in from the 
west. Turning our eyes in that direction, we see 
only the level sea of verdure, — the green grass 
waving in the evening breeze. At this place our 
company will divide, — Governor Marshall, Mr. 
Holmes, and several other gentlemen, going on to 
the Missouri, while the rest of us will travel east- 
ward to Lake Superior. 

It would be a pleasure to go wdth them, — to 
ride over the rolling prairies, to fall in with 
buffaloes and try my pony in a race with a big 
bull. It would be thrilling, — only if the hunted 
phould right about face, and toss the hunter on his 
horns, the thrill would be of a different sort ! 

We sit by our camp-fires at night with our faces 
and hands smeared with an abominable mixture 
prepared by our M. D., ostensibly to keep the mos- 
quitoes from presenting their bills, but which we 
surmise is a little game of his to daub us with a 


diabolical mixture of glycerine, soap, and tar ! 
Our tents are as odorous as the shop of a keeper 
of naval stores. There is an all-pervading smell 
of oakum and turpentine. Clouds of mosquitoes 
come, take a whiff, and retire in disgust. We can 
hear them having a big swear at the Doctor for 
compounding such an ointment ! 

I think of the country which those who are 
going west will see, and of the region beyond, — the 
valley of the Yellowstone, the Missouri, the slopes 
of the Eocky Mountains, and the hills of Montana, 
— territory to be included in the future Empire 
of the Northwest. T have written the word, but 
it bears no political meaning in these notes. It 
has the same signification as when applied to the 
State of New York. The Empire of the North- 
west will be the territory lying north of the cen- 
tral ridge of the continent. Milwaukie may be 
taken as a starting-point for a survey of tliis im- 
perial domain. That city is near the 43d parallel ; 
following it westward, we see that it passes over 
the mountain-range on whose northern slopes the 
southern affluents of the Yellowstone take their 
rise. All the fertile valleys of the Columbia and 
its tributaries lie north of this parallel; all the 
streams of the Upper Missouri country, and the 
magnificent water-system of Puget Sound, and the 
intricate bays and inlets of British Columbia, 
reaching on to Alaska, having their only counter- 


part in the fiords of Norway, are north of that 
degree of latitude. I liave abeady taken a view 
of the region now comprised in the British do- 
minions east of the Eocky Mountains ; but equally 
interesting will he a review of the territories of the 
Republic, — Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and 
"Washington, also British Columbia and Vancouver. 

Dakota contains a little more than a liundred 
and fifty thousand square miles, — nearly enough 
territory to make four States as large as Ohio. 

" The climate and soil of Dakota," says the 
Commissioner of Public Lands, General Wilson, in 
his Report for 1869, "are exceedingly favorable to 
the growth of wheat, corn, and other cereals, while 
all the fruits raised in the Northern States are 

here produced in the greatest perfection 

The wheat crop varied from twenty to forty bush- 
els to the acre. Oats have produced from fifty to 
seventy bushels to the acre, and are of excellent 
quality" (p. 144). 

Settlements are rapidly extending up the Mis- 
souri, and another year will behold this northern 
section teeming with emigrants. The northern 
section of the territory is bare of v70od, but the 
southern portion is well supplied with timber in 
the Black Hills. 

Two thousand square miles of the region of the 
Black Hills, says Professor Hayden, geologist to 
the United States Exploring Expedition under 


CJeiieral Eeynolds, is covered with excellent pine 
timber. That is an area half as large as the State 
of Connecticut, ample for the southern section ; 
while the settlers of the northern portion will be 
within easy distance by rail of the timbered lands 
of Minnesota. 

The northern half of Wyoming is north of the 
line we have drawn from Milwaukie to the Pa- 
cific, and of this Territory the Land Commissioner 
says : " A large portion of Wyoming produces a 
luxuriant growth of short nutritious giass, upon 
which cattle will feed and fatten during summer 
and winter without other provender. Those lands, 
even in their present condition, are superior for 
grazing. The climate is mild and healthy, the air 
and water pure, and springs abundant " (p. 159). 

Beyond the 104th meridian lies Montana, a lit- 
tle larger than Dakota, with area enough for four 
States of the size of Ohio. 

At St. Paul I was fortunate enough to fall in 
with Major-General Hancock, who had just re- 
turned from Montana, and who was enthusiastic in 
its praise. 

" I consider it," he said, " to be one of the first 
grazing countries in the world. Its valleys are 
exceedingly fertile. It is capable of sustaining a 
dense population." 

Wheat grows as luxuriantly in the valleys at 
the base of the Eocky Mountains as in Minnesota. 


The Territory appears to be richer in minerals than 
any other section of the country, the gold product 
surpassing tliat of any otlier State or Territory. 
More tlian one hundred million dollars have been 
taken .from the mines of Montana since the discov- 
ery of gold in this territory in 1862. Coal appears 
upon the Yellowstone in veins ten, fifteen, and 
twenty feet in thickness. It is found on the Big 
Horn and on the Missouri. 

" From the mouth of the Big Horn," says Pro- 
fessor Hayden, " to the union of the Yellowstone 
with the Missouri, nearly all the way, lignite (coal) 

beds occupy the whole country The beds 

are well developed, and at least twenty or thirty 
seams are shown, varying in purity and thickness 
from a few inches to seven feet " (lieport, p. 59). 

The mountains are covered with wood, and there 
will be no lack of fuel in Montana. The timber 
lands of this Territory are estimated by the Land 
Commissioner to cover nearly twelve millions of 
acres, — an area as large as New Hampshire and 
Vermont combined. The agricultural land, or 
land that may be ploughed, is estimated at 
twenty-three million acres, nearly as much as is 
contained in the State of Ohio. The grazing lands 
are put down at sixty-nine millions, — or a region 
as large as New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jer- 
sey together ! 

Is n't it cold ? Are not the winters intolerable ? 


Are not the summers short in ^Montana ? Many 
times the questions have been asked. 

The temperature of the climate in winter will 
be seen from the following therraometrical record 
kept at Virginia City : — 

18GG. Dec. Moan for the month, 31° above zero. 
18G7. Jan. " " '< 23^73 " " 

a Feb. " " " 26° '' " 

The summer climate is exceedingly agreeable, 
and admirably ada]^ted to fruit culture. 

In July last Mr. Milnor Roberts, Mr. Thomas 
Canfield, and other gentlemen of the Pacific ex- 
ploring party, were in Montana. Mr. Roberts 
makes our mouths water by his description of the 
fruits of that Territory. 

" Missoula," he says, " is a thriving young town 
near the western base of the Rocky Mountains, 
containing a grist-mill, saw-mill, two excellent 
stores, and from twenty-five to thirty dwellings, a 
number of them well built. I visited McWhirk's 
garden of five acres, where I found ripe tomatoes, 
watermelons, muskmelons, remarkably fine pota- 
toes, beans, peas, and squashes ; also young apple- 
trees and other fruit-trees, and a very fine collec- 
tion of flowers ; and all this had been brought 
about from the virgin soil in two years, and would 
this year (1869) yield the owner over two thousand 
dollars in gold, the only currency known in Mon- 
tana " (Report, p. 23). 


This fruit and flower garden is about one liun- 
dred miles from the top of the divide between the 
Atlantic and the Pacific. 

Deer Lodge City, fifteen miles from the dividing 
ridge, is situated in the Deer Lodge Valley, and its 
attractions are thus set forth by Mr. Eoberts : — 

" The Deer Lodge Valley is very wide, in places 
ten to fifteen miles from the hills on one side to 
the hills on the other, nearly level, and everywhere 
clothed with rich grass, upon which we observed 
numerous herds of tame cattle and horses feeding. 
The Deer Lodge Creek flows through it, and adds 
immensely to its value as an agricultural region. 
Some farms are cultivated ; but farming is yet in 
its infancy, and there are thousands of acres of 
arable land here and elsewhere in Montana await- 
ing settlement " (p. 25). .; 

West of Montana is Idaho, containing eighty-six 
thousand square miles, — large enough for two 
States of the size of Ohio. . Nearly all of this 
Territory lies north of the 43d parallel. It is wa- 
tered by the Columbia and its tributaries, — moun- 
tain streams fed by melting snows. 

" The mountains of Idaho," says the Land Com- 
missioner, in his exhaustive Eeport for 1869, " often 
attain great altitude, having peaks rising above the 
line of perpetual snow, their lower slopes being 
furrowed with numerous streams and alternately 
clothed with magnificent forests and rich grasses. 


The plains are elevated table-lands covered with 
iiuligeuous grasses, constituting pasturage unsur- 
pa;^se(l in any section of our country. Xunierous 
large ilocks of sheep and h(3rds of domestic cattle 
now range these pastures, requiring but little other 
sustenance throughout the entire year, and no 
protection from the weather otlier than that af- 
forded by the lower valleys or the canons, in which 
many of the streams take their way through tlie 
upland country. The valleys are beautiful, fertile 
depressions of tlie surface, protected from the 
searching winds of summer and searching blasts 
of winter, each intersected by some considerable 
stream, adjoining which on either bank, and ex- 
tending to the commencement of the rise of table- 
land or mountain, are broad stretches of prairies 
or meadows producing the richest grasses, and 
with the aid of irrigation, crops of grain, fruit, and 
vegetables superior to those of any of the Eastern 
States, and rivalling the vegetation of the Missis- 
sippi Valley. The pastures of these valleys are 
generally uncovered with snow in the most severe 
winters, and afford excellent food for cattle and 
slieep, the herbage drying upon the stalk during 
the later summer and autumn months into a su- 
perior quality of hay. As no artificial shelter from 
the weather is here required for sheep or cattle, 
stock-raising is attended with but little outlay and 
is very profitable, promising soon to become one 


of the greatest sources of wealth in this rapidly 
developing but still underrated Territory. It was 
considered totally valueless except for mining pur- 
poses, and uninviting to the agriculturist, until 
emigration disclosed its hidden resources. 

" It is the favorite custom of herdsmen in Idaho 
to reserve their lower meadows for winter pastures, 
allowing the stock to range the higher plains dur- 
ing spring, summer, and autumn ; the greater ex- 
tent of the table-lands, and the superior adapta- 
bility of the valleys for agriculture presenting 
reasons for the adoption of this method as one of 
economical importauce. 

" The climate of Idaho varies considerably with 
the degrees of latitude through which its limits 
extend, but not so much as would naturally be 
supposed from its great longitudinal extension; 
the isothermal lines of the Territory, running from 
east to west, have a well-defined northward varia- 
tion, caused by the influence of air currents from 
the Pacific Ocean. Throughout the spring, sum- 
mer, and autumn months, in the northern as well 
as the southern sections, the weather is generally 
delightful and salubrious ; in the winter months 
the range of the thermometer depends greatly upon 
the altitude of the surface, — the higher mountains 
being visited by extreme cold and by heavy falls 
of snow ; the lower mountain-ranges and the plains 
having winters generally less severe than those of 


northern Iowa and Wisconsin or central Minne- 
sota, while greater dryness of the atmosphere 
renders a lower fall of the thermometer less per- 
ceptible ; and the valleys being rarely visited by 
cold weather, high winds, or considerable falls of 
snow. Considered in its yearly average, the cli- 
mate is exactly adapted to sheep-growing and the 
production of wool, the herding of cattle, and 
manufacture of dairy products, the raising of 
very superior breeds of horses, as well as the 
culture of all Northern varieties of fruits, such 
as apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches, grapes, 
and all of the ordinary cereals and vegetables " (p. 

This is all different from what '^^e have con- 
ceived the Itocky Mountains to be. 

When the government reports of the explorations 
of 1853 were issued, Jeff Davis w^as Secretary of 
War, and he deliberately falsified the report of Gov- 
ernor Stevens's explorations from Lake Superior 
to the valley of the Columbia. Governor Stevens 
reported that the route passed through a region 
highly susceptible of agriculture ; but the Secre- 
tary of War, even then plotting treason, in his 
summary of the advantages of the various routes, 
asserted that Governor Stevens had overstated tlie 
facts, and that there were not more than 1,000 
square miles, or 640,000 acres, of agricultural lands. 
The Land Commissioner in his Eeport estimates the 


amount of agriciltural lands at 16,925,000 acres. 
The amount of improved lands in Ohio in 1860 
was 12,665,000 acres, or more than 4,000,000 less 
than the available agricultural lands in Idaho. 
These are lands that need no irrigation. Of such 
lands there are 14,000,000 acres, which, in the lan- 
guage of the Commissioner, are " redeemable by 
irrigation into excellent pasture and agricultural 
lands." The gTazing - lands are estimated at 
5,000,000 acres, tlie timbered lands at 7,500,000 
acres, besides 8,000,000 acres of mineral lands. Al- 
though the population -of Idaho probably does not 
exceed 50,000, half of whom are engaged in min- 
ing, the value of the agricultural products for 1868 
amounted to $ 12,000,000, while the mineral pro- 
duct was $ 10,000,000. • ' 

Passing on to Oregon we find a State containing 
95,000 square miles, two and a half times larger 
than Ohio. 

"Oregon," says General Wilson, in his Eeport 
upon the public lands, " is peculiarly a crop-raising 
and fruit-growing State, though by no means de- 
ficient in valuable mineral resources. Possessing 
a climate of unrivalled salubrity, abounding in 
vast tracts of rich arable lands, heavily timbered 
throughout its mountain ranges, watered by innu- 
merable springs and streams, and subject to none 
of the drawbacks arising from the chilling winds 
and seasons of aridity which prevail farther south, 


it is justly considered tlie most favored region on 
the Pacific slope as a home for an agricalt iral and 
manufacturing population " (p. 197). 

Of " western Oregon," he says, " the portion of 
the State first settled embraces about 31,000 
square miles, or 20,000,000 acres, being nearly one 
third of the area of the whole State, and con- 
tains the great preponderance of population and 
wealth. Nearly the whole of this large extent of 
country is \ iiluable for agriculture and grazing ; 
all of the productions common to temperate re- 
gions may be cultivated here with success. When 
the land is properly cultivated, the farmer rarely 
fails to meet with an adequate rcAvard for his la- 
bors. The fruits produced here, such as apples, 
pears, plums, quinces, and grapes, are of supe- 
rior quality and flavor. Large quantities of ap- 
ples are annually shipped to the San Francisco 
market, where they usually command a higher 
price than those of California, owing to their finer 

"The valleys of the Willamette, Umpqua, and 
Eouge Kivers, are embraced within this portion 
of the State, and there is no region of country on 
tlie continent presenting a finer field for agriculture 
and stock-raising, because of the mildness of the 
climate and the depth and richness of the soil. 
Farmers make no provision for housing their cattle 
during winter, and none is required ; although in 


about the same latitude as Maine on the Atlantic, 
the winter temperature corresponds with that of 
Savannah, Georgia" (p. 194). 

North, of Oregon lies the Territory of Washing- 
ton, containing 70,000 square miles, lacking only 
9,000 to make it twice as large as Ohio. 

Our camp, where I am taking tlijs westward 
look, is pitched very near the 47th parallel, may 
be five or six miles north of it. If I were to travel 
due west along the parallel a little more than 
twelve hundred miles, 1 should reach Olympia, the 
capital of the Territory, situated on Puget Sound, 
— the name given to that vast ramification of wa- 
ters known as the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Admi- 
ralty Inlet, Hood's Canal, and Puget Sound, with a 
shore line of 1,500 miles. 

"There is no State in the Union," says the 
Land Commissioner, " and perhaps no country in 
the world of the same extent, that offers so many 
harbors and such excellent facilities for commerce " 
(p. 198). 

The timbered lands of Washington are approxi- 
mately estimated at 20,000,000 acres, and the prai- 
rie lands cover an area equally great. The forests 
embrace the red and yellow pine of gigantic 
growth, often attaining the height of three hun- 
dred feet, and from nine to twelve feet in diameter. 
It is said that a million feet have been cut from a 
single acre ! Says the Commissioner, " The soil 


ill the river-bottoms is thinly timbered witli 
maple, ash, and willow. These lands yield heavy 
crops of wheat, barley, and oats, while vegetables 
attain enormous size. The highlands are generally 

rolling, and well adapted to cultivation The 

average yield of potatoes to the acre is six hun- 
(h'ed bushels, wheat forty, peas sixty, timothy-hay 
five tons, and oats seventy bushels" (p. 199). 

Mr. Eoberts, who explored this region last year, 
says that the great plain of the Columbia is " a 
high rolling prairie, covered everywhere abundant- 
ly with bunch-grass to the summits of the highest 
liills ; treeless, excepting along the streams. This 
is an immense grazing area of the most superior 
character, interspersed with the valleys of peren- 
nial streams, along which are lands that, when 
settled by industrious farmers, will be of the most 
productive character, as we have seen in tlie case 
of a number of improvements already made ; / 
while the climate is not only salubrious, but re- ■ 
markably attractive " (Report, p. 19). 

He gives this estimate of the area suited to 
agriculture and grazing: — 

" In Washington Territory alone, on its eastern 
side, there are at least 20,000 square miles, or 
12,800,000 acres of the finest grazing-lands, on 
which thousands of cattle and sheep will be raised 
as cheaply as in any other quarter of the globe, 
and this grass is so nutritious that the cattle raised 


upon it cannot be surpassed in their weight and 
quality. Snow rarely falls to sufficient depth to 
interfere seriously with their grazing all through 
the winter. Such may be taken as a general view 
upon this important point, respecting a Territory 
nearly half as large as the State of Pennsylvania " 
(p. 19). 

Along the shores of Piiget Sound, and on the 
island of Vancouver, are extensive deposits of 
bituminous coal, conveniently situated for the fu- 
ture steam-marine of the Pacific. Large quanti- 
ties are now shipped to San Francisco for the use 
of the Pacific mail-steamers. 
/ Not only in Washington, but up the coast of 
^. British Columbia, the coal-deposits crop out in 
\ numerous places. • . 

.. An explorer on Simpson Eiver, which next to 

/ the Eraser is the largest in British Columbia, thus 

L writes to Governor Douglas : " I saw seams of coal 

to-day fifteen feet thick, better than any mined at 

V Vancouver " (Parliamentary Blue-Book.) 

Coal in Montana, in Idaho, in Washington, on 
Vancouver, in British Columbia ; coal on the 
Missouri, the Yellowstone, the Columbia, the 
Eraser; coal on Simpson Eiver, coal in Alaska! 
Measureless forests all over the Pacific slope ! 
timber enough for all the world, masts and spars 
sufficient for the mercantile marine of every nation ! 
Great rivers, thousands of waterfalls, unequalled 



facilities for manufacturing ! An agricultural re- 
gion unsurpassed for fertility ! Exhaustless min- 
eral wealth ! Fisheries equalling those of New- 
foundland, — salmon in every stream, cod and 
lierring abounding along the coast ! Nothing 
wanting for a varied industry. 

Unfold the map of North America and look at 
its western coast. From Panama northward there 
is no harbor that can ever be available to the com- 
merce of the Pacific till we reach the Bay of San 
Francisco. From thence northward to the Colum- 
bia the waves of the sea break against rugged 
mountains. The Columbia pours its waters through 
the Coast Eange, but a bar at its mouth has prac- 
tically closed it to commerce. Not till we reach 
Puget Sound do we find a good harbor. North of 
that magnificent gateway are numberless bays and 
inlets. Like the coast of Maine, there is a harbor 
every five or ten miles, where ships may ride in 
safety, sheltered from storms, and open at all sea- 
sons of the year. There never will be any ice- 
bound ships on the coast of British Columbia, for 
the warm breath of the tropics is felt there through- 
out the year. 

AVliile the map is unfolded, look at Puget Sound, 

and think of its connection with Japan and China. 

Latitude and longitude are to be taken into ac- 

count when we make long journeys. Liverpool is 

between the 53d and 54th parallels, or about two 
5 o 

98 THE SEAT OF EMriliE. 

hundred and sixty miles farUicr nortli than Piiget 
Sound, wliere a degree of longitude is only 
thirty-iive miles in length. Puget Sound is on the 
49th parallel, where the degrees are thirty-eight 
and a half miles in length. San Francisco is near 
the 37th parallel, where the degrees are nearly 
forty-nine miles in length. Liverpool is three de- 
grees west of Greenwich, from which longitude is 
reckoned. The 122d meridian passes through Pu- 
get Sound and also through the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco. It follows from all this that the distance 
from Liverpool in straight lines to these two mag- 
nificent gateways of the Pacific, in geographical 
miles, is as follows : — 

Liverpool to San Francisco . 4,879 miles. 
« " Puget Sound . .4,487 " 

,' Difference, 392 " 

Looking across the Pacific we see that Yoko- 
hama is on the 35th parallel, where a degree of 
longitude is forty-nine miles in length., Pteckon- 
in^ the distance across the Pacific between Yoko- 
hama and the western gateways of the continent, 
we have this comparison : — . 

San Francisco to Yokohama . 4,856 miles. 
Puget Sound " " . . 4,294 " . 

Difference, 562 " 

Adding these differences together, we see that Ion- 


gitude alone makes a total of nine hundred and 
fifty-four miles in favor of ru<^et Sound between — 
Liverpool and Yokohama. When the Northern 
Pacitic Railroad is completed, Chicago will be fully 
six hundred miles nearer Asia by Puget Sound 
than by San Francisco. 

Vessels sailing from Japan to San Francisco 
follow the Kuro-Siwo, the heated river, which 
of itself bears them towards Puget Sound at the 
rate of eighty miles a day. They follow it into 
northern latitudes till within three or four hun- 
dred miles of the coast of British Columbia, then 
shape their course southward past Puget Sound to 
the Golden Gate. 

In navigation, then, Asia is nearly, if not quite, 
one thousand miles nearer the ports of Puget 
Sound than San Francisco. The time will come \ 
when not only Puget Sound, but every bay and - 
inlet of the northwest coast, wilL be whitened 
with sails of vessels bringing the products of the 
Orient, not only for those who dwell upon the 
Pacific slope, but for the mighty multitude of the 
Empire of the Northwest, of the Mississippi Val- 
ley, and the Atlantic States. 

From those land-locked harbors steamships 
shall depart for other climes, freighted with the 
products of this region, spun and woven, ham- 
mered and smelted, sawed and planed, by the 
millions of industrious workers who are to ina- 


prove the unparalleled capabilities of tliis vast 

There is not on the face of the globe a country 
so richly endowed as this of the Northwest. Here 
we find every element necessary for the develop- 
ment of a varied industry, — agricidtural, miniiip^, 
manufacturing, mercantile, and commercial, — all 
this with a climate like that of southern I'rance, 
or central and northern Europe. 

" The climate," says Mr. Itoberts, " of this fa- 
vored region is very remarkable, and wdll always 
remain an attractive feature ; which must, there- 
fore, aid greatly in the speedy settlement of this 
portion of the Pacific coast. Even in the cold- 
est winters there is practically no obstruction 
to navigation from ice ; vessels can enter and 
depart at all times ; and the winters are so 
mild that summer flowers which in the latitude 
of Philadelphia, on the Atlantic coast, we are 
obliged to place in the hot-house, are left out in the 
open garden without being injured. The cause of 
this mildness is usually, and I think correctly, 
ascribed to the warm-water equatorial current, 
which, impinging against the Pacific coast, north 
of the Strait of Juan de Euca, passes along nearly 
parallel with the shore, diffusing its genial warmth 
over the land far into the interior. Of the fact 
there is no doubt, whatever may be the cause" 
(Eeport, p. 14). 


The climate of eastern Washington, amid the 
mountains, corresponds with tliat of Pennsylvania ; 
l»ut upon the sea-coast and along the waters of 
Paget Sound roses blossom in the open air through- 
out the year, and the residents gatlier green peas 
and strawberries in ^larch and A])ril. 

In a former view we looked at the territory be- 
longing to Great Britain lying east of the Eocky 
^fountains, we saw its capabilities for settlement; 
but far different in its pliysical features is British 
Columbia from the Saskatchawan country. It is 
a land of mountains, plains, valleys, and forests, 
tlu'eaded by rivers, and indented by bays and inlets. 
The main branch of the Columbia rises in the Brit- 
ish Possessions, between the Cascade Bange and 
the Rocky Mountains. There is a great amphi- 
theatre between those two ranges, having an area 
of forty-five thousand square miles. "NVe hardly 
comprehend, even with a map spread out before 
us, that there is an area larger than Ohio in the 
basin drained by the northern branch of the Colum- 
bia. But such is the fact, and it is represented 
as being a fertile and attractive section, possessed 
of a mild and equable climate. The stock-raisers 
of southern Idaho drive their cattle by the ten 
thousand into British Columbia to find winter pas- 
turage ! 

The general characteristics of that area have been 
fully set forth in a paper read before the Royal 

102 . THE SEAT OF EMriRE. 

Geograpliical Society of London by Lieutenant 
Palmer of the Royal Engineers. He says : — 

" The scenery of the M'liole midland belt, espe- 
cially of tliat portion of it lyin.t^'to the east of tlie 
124tli meridian, is exceedingly beautiful and pic- 
tures(pie. The highest uplands are all more or less 
thickly timbered, but the valleys present a delight- 
ful panorama of woodland and prairie, flanked 
by miles of rolling hills, swelling gently from tlic 
margin of streams, and pictures(piely dotted with 
yellow pines. The forests are almost entirely fi-ee 
from underwood, and with the exception of a few 
worthless tracts, the whole face of the country — 
hill and dale, Avoodland and plain — is covered witli 
an abundant growth of grass, jiossessing nutritious 
qualities of the liighest order. Hence its value to 
the colony as a grazing district is of the liighest 
importance. Cattle and horses are found to thrive 
wonderfully on the 'bunch' grass, and to keep 
in excellent condition at all seasons. The whole 
area is more or less available for grazing purposes. 
/ Thus the natural pastures of the middle belt may 
be estimated at hundreds, or even thousands, of 
square miles. 

" Notwithstanding the elevation, the sea, ons ex- 
hibit no remarkable extremes of temperature ; the 
winters, though sharp enough for all the rivers and 
lakes to freeze, are calm and clear, so that the cold, 
even when most severe, is not keenly felt. Snow 


seldom exceeds eij^liteeu inches in dci)tli, and in 
many valleys of moderate elevation cattle often 
iTinge at large during the winter months, without 
retiiiiring shelter or any food but the natural 

grasses Judging from present experience, 

there can he no doubt that in point of salubrity 
the climate of Britisli Colund)ia excels that of 
(}reat Britain, and is indeed one of the linest in 
the world." 

In regard to the agricultural capabilities of this 
mountain region, the same autlior remarks : — 

" Here in sheltered and well-irrigated valleys, at 
altitudes of as much as 2,500 feet above the sea, a 
few farming experiments have been made, and the 
results have thus far been beyond measure encour- 
aging. At farms in the San Jose and Beaver val- 
leys, situated nearly 2,200 feet above the sea, and 
again at Fort Alexander, at an altitude of 1,450 
feet, wheat has been found to produce nearly forty 
bushels to the acre, and other grain and vegetable 

crops in proportion It may be asserted that 

two thirds at least of this eastern division of the 
central belt may, when occasion arrives, be turned / 
to good account either for purposes of grazing or 

Probably there are no streams, bays, or inlets in 
the world that so abound with fish as the salt and 
fresh waters of the northwest Pacific. The cod 
and herring fisheries are equal to those of New- 



foundland, while every stream descending from the 
mountains literally swarms with salmon. 

In regard to the fislieries of British Columbia, 
Lieutenant Palmer says : — 

" The whole of the inlets, hays, rivers, and lakes 
of British Columbia abound with delicious fish. 
The quantity of salmon that ascend the Eraser and 
other rivers on the coast seems incredible. They 
first enter Fraser and other rivers in March, and 
are followed in rajnd succession by other varieties, 
which continue to arrive until the approach of 
winter ; but the great runs occur in July, August, 
and September. During these months so abundant 
is thp supply that it may be asserted without ex- 
aggeration, that some of the smaller streams can 
hardly be forded without stepping upon them." 
(Journal of the Geographical Society.) 

Ah ! would n't it be glorious sport to pull out 
the twenty-five-pounders from the foaming waters 
of the Columbia, — to land them, one after another, 
on the grassy bank, and see the changing light 
upon their shining scales ! and then sitting down 
to dinner to have one of the biggest on a platter, 
delicately baked or boiled, with prairie chicken, 
plover, pigeon, and wild duck ! We will have it 
by and by, when Governor Smith and Judge Eice, 
who are out here seeing about the^ailroad, get the 
cars running to the Pacific ; they will supply all 
creation east of the Kocky Mountains with salmon I 


Tlicre are not iaany of us who can afford to dine 
oft' salmon when it is a dollar a pound, and the 
larger part of the crowd can never have a taste 
even ; but these railroad gentlemen will bring. 
about a new order of things. When they get tlie 
locomotive on the completed track, and make the 
run from the Columbia to Chicago in about sixty 
hours, as they will be able to do, all hands of us 
who work for our daily bread will be able to have 
fresh salmon at cheap rates. 

What a country ! I have drawn a hypothetical 
line from Milwaukie to the Paciiic, — not that the 
region south of it — Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, or 
California — does not abound in natural resour- 
ces, with fruitful soil and vast capabilities, but be- 
cause the configuration of the continent — the 
water-systems, the mountain-ranges, tlie eleva- 
tions and depressions, the soil and climate — is 
ill many respects different north of the 43d par- 
allel from what it is south of it. We need not look 
upon the territory now held by Great Britain with 
a covetous eye. The 49th parallel is an imaginary 
line running across the prairies, an arbitrary polit- 
ical boundary which Nature will not take into 
account in her disposition of affairs in the future. 
Sooner or later the line will fade away. Eailway 
trains — the constant passing and repassing of a 
multitude of people speaking the same language, 
having ideas in common, and related by blood — 



will rub it out, and there will be one country, one 
people, one government. What an empire then ! 
The region west of Lake Michigan and north of 
the latitude of Milwaukie — the 43d parallel ex- 
tended to the Pacific — will give to the nation, to 
say nothing of Alaska Territory, forty States as 
large as Ohio, or two hundred States of the size 
of Massachusetts! 

I have been accustomed to look upon this part 
of the world as being so far north, so cold, so 
snowy, so distant, — and all the other imaginary 
"" so's, — that it never could be available for settle- 
ment ; but the facts show that it is as capable of 
settlement as New York or New England, — that 
/ the country along the Athabasca has a climate no 
) more severe than that of northern New Hamp- 
i shire or Maine, while the summers are more favor- 
i able to the growing of grains than those of the 
' northern Atlantic coast. 

It is not, therefore, hypothetical geography. Fol- 
lowing the 43d parallel eastward, we find it passing 
along the northern shore of the Mediterranean, 
through central Italy, and through the heart of 
the Turkish Empire. Nearly all of Europe lies 
north of it, — the whole of France, half of Italy, 
the whole of the Austrian Empire, and all of 
Eussia's vast dominions. 

The entire wheat-field of Europe is above that 
parallel. The valleys of the Alps lying between 


the 46th and 50tli parallels swarm with an in- 
dustrious people ; why may not those of the Rocky 
Mountains at tlie head-waters of the Missouri and 
Columbia in like manner be hives of industry in 
the future ? 

If a Christiania, a Stockholm, and a St. Peters- 
burg, with golden-domed churches, gorgeous pal- 
aces, and abodes of comfort, can be built up in 
lat. 60 in the Old World, why may we not ex- 
pect to see their counterpart in the New, when 
we take into account the fact that a heated cur- 
rent from the tropics gives the same mildness of 
climate to the northwestern section of this conti- 
nent that the Gulf Stream gives to northern Eu- 
rope ? 

With this outlook towards future possibilities, 
we see Minnesota the central State of the Conti- 
nental Republic of the future. 

With the map of the continent before me, I 
stick a pin into Minneapolis, and stretch a string 
to Halifax, then, sweeping southward, find that ^ 
it cuts through southern Florida, and central 
Mexico. It reaches almost to San Diego, the ex- 
treme southwestern boundary of the United States, 
— reaches to Donner Pass on the summit of the 
Sierra Ne\'adas, within a hundred miles of Sac- 
ramento. Stretching it due west, it reaches to 
Salem, Oregon. Carrying it northwest, I find that* 
it reaches tc the Rockv Mountain House on Peace 


Eiver, — to that region whose beauty charmed 
Mackenzie and Father De Smet. The Peace Eiver 
flows through the Eocky Mountains, and at its 
head-waters we find the lowest pass of the conti- 
nent. The time may come when we of the East 
will whirl through it upon the express-train bound 
for Sitka ! It is two hundred miles from the Eocky 
Mountain House to that port of southern Alaska. 

The city of Mexico is nearer Minneapolis by 
nearly a hundred miles than Sitka. Trmity Bay 
on the eastern coast of Newfoundland, Puerto 
Principe on the island of Cuba, the Bay of Hon- 
duras in Central America, and Sitka, are equidis- 
tant from Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

When Mr. Seward, in 1860, addressed the people 
of St. Paul from the steps of the Capitol, it was 
the seer, and not the politician, who said : — 

" / noio believe that the ultimate last seat of gov- 
ernment on this great continent will he found some- 
where within a circle or radius not far from the 
spot on which I stand, at the head of navigation on 
the Mississippi Biver ! " 




BOTTINEAU is our guide. Take a look at 
him as he sits by the camp-fire cleaning 
liis rifle. He is tall and well formed, with features 
which show both his French and Indian parent- 
age. He has dark whiskers, a broad, flat nose, a 
wrinkled forehead, and is in the full prime of life. 
His name is known throughout the Northwest, — 
among Americans, Canadians, and Indians. The 
Chippewa is his mother-tongue, though he can 
speak several Indian dialects, and is fluent in 
French and English. He was born not far from 
Fort Garry, and has traversed the vast region of 
the Northwest in every direction. He was Gover- 
nor Stevens's guide when he made the first explora- 
tions for the Northern Pacific Eailroad, and has 
guided a great many government trains to the 
forts on the Missouri since then. He was with 
General Sully in his campaign against the Indians. 
He has the instinct of locality. Like the honey- 
bee, which flies straight from the flower to its hive, 
over fields, through forests, across ravines or inter- 
vening hiUs, so Pierre Bottineau knows just where 
to go when out upon the boundless prairie with 


no landmark to guide him. He is never lost, even 
in the darkest night or foggiest day. 

There is no man living, probably, who has 
more enemies than he, for the whole Sioux nation 
of Indians are his sworn foes. They would take 
his scalp instantly if they could only get a chance. 
He has been in many fights with them, — has 
killed six of them, has had narrow escapes, and 
to hear him tell of his adventures makes your 
hair stand on end. He is going to conduct a por- 
tion of our party through the Sioux country. The 
Indians ire friendly now, and the party will not 
be troubled ; but if a Sioux buffalo-hunter comes 
across this giiide there will be quick shooting on 
both sides, and ten to one the Indian will go down, 
— for Bottineau is keen-sighted, has a steady 
hand, and is quick to act. 

The westward -bound membei's of our party, 
guided by Bottineau, will be accompanied by an 
escort consisting of nineteen soldiers commanded 
by Lieutenant Kelton. Four Indian scouts, mount- 
ed on ponies, are engaged to scour the country in 
advance, and give timely notice of the presence of 
Sioux, who are always on the alert to steal horses 
or plunder a train. 

Bidding our friends good by, we watch their 
train winding over the prairie till we can only see 
the white canvas of the wagons on the edge of the 
horizon ; then, turning eastward, we cross the river 


into Minnesota, and strike out upon the pathless 
plain. We see no landmarks ahead, and, like navi- 
gators upon the ocean, pursue our way over this 
sea of verdure by the compass. 

After a few hours' ride, we catch, through the 
glimmering haze, the faint outlines of islands ris- 
ing above the unruffled waters of a distant lake. 
We approach its shores, but only to see islands 
and lake alike vanish into thin air. It was the 
mirage lifting above the horizon the far-off groves 
of Buffalo Creek, a branch of the Red Eiver. 

Far away to the east are the Leaf Hills, which 
are only the elevations of the rolling prairie that 
forms the divide between the waters flowing into 
the Gulf of Mexico and into Hudson Bay. 
' Wishing to see the hills, to ascertain what ob- 
stacles there are to the construction of a railroad, 
two of us break away from the main party and 
strike out over the plains, promising to be in 
camp at nightfall. How exhilarating to gallop 
over the pathless expanse, amid a sea of flowers, 
plunging now and then through grass so high that 
horse and rider are almost lost to sight ! The 
meadow-lark greets us with his cheerful song ; the 
plover hovers around us ; sand-hill cranes, flying 
always in pairs, rise from the ground and wing 
their way beyond the reach of harm. The gophers 
chatter like children amid the flowers, as we ride 
over their subterranean towns. 

112 . THE SEAT OF EMriKE. 

Tliey are in peaceful possession of the solitude. 
Five years ago buffaloes were roaming here. We 
see their bones bleaching in the sun. Here the 
Sioux and Chippewas hunted them down. Here 
the old bulls fought out their battles, and the 
countless herds cropped the succulent grasses and 
drank the clear running water of the stream which 
bears their name. They are gone forever. The ox 
and cow of the farm are coming to take their place. 
Sheep and horses will soon fatten on the rich x>as- 
turage of these hills. We of the East would hardly 
call them hills, much less mountains, the slopes 
are so gentle and the altitudes so low. The high- 
est grade of a railroad would not exceed thirty 
feet to the mile in crossing them. 

Here we find granite and limestone bowlders, 
and in some places beds of gravel, brought, so 
the geologists inform us, from the far North and 
deposited here when the primeval ocean currents 
got southward over this then submerged region. 
They are in the right place for the railroad. The 
stone will be needed for abutments to bridges, 
and the gmvel will be \7anted for ballast, — pro- 
vided the road is located in this vicinity. 

On our second day's march we come to what 
might with propriety be called the park region of 
Minnesota. It lies amid the high lands of the 
divide. It is more beautiful even than the coun- 
try around White Bear Lake and in the vicinity 


of Glenwood. Throughout the day we behold 
such rural scenery as can onlv be found amid the 
most lovely spots in Englana. 

Think of rounded hills, M'ith green slopes, — of 
parks and countless lakes, — skirted by forests, 
fringed with rushes, perfumed by tiger-lilies — the 
waves ripi^ling on gravelled beaches ; wild geese, 
ducks, loons, pelicans, and innumerable water-fowl 
building their nests amid the reeds and rushes, — 
think of lawns blooming with flowers, elk and deer 
browsing in the verdant meadows. This is their 
haunt. We see their tracks along the sandy shores, 
but they keep beyond the range of our rifles. 

So wonderfully has nature adorned this section, 
that it seems as if we were riding through a coun- 
try that has been long under cultivation, and that 
behind yonder hillock we shall find an old castle, 
a mansion, or, at least, a farm-house, as we find 
them in Great Britain. 

I do not forget that I am seeing IMinnesota at 
its best season, that it is midsummer, that the win- 
ters are as long as in New England ; but I can say 
without reservation, that nowhere in the wide world 
— not even in old England, the most finished of 
all lands ; not in la telle FrancCy or sunny Italy, or 
ill the valley of the Ganges or the Yangtse, or on 
the slopes of the Sierra Nevadas — have I beheld 
anything approacliing this in natural beauty. 

How it would look in winter I cannot say, but 


the mem'bers of our party are unanimous in their 
praises of tliis portion of Minnesota. Tlie nearest 
l)ioneer is forty miles distant ; but hmd so in- 
viting will soon be taken up by settlers. 

It was a pleasure, after three days' travel over 
the trackless wild, to come suddenly and unex- 
pectedly upon a liay-fiekl. There were the swaths 
newly mown. There was no farm-house in sight, 
no fenced area or upturned furrow, but the hay- 
makers had been there. We were approaching 
civilization once more. Ascending a hill, we came 
in sight of a settler, a pioneer who is always on 
the move ; who, when a neighbor comes within 
six or eight miles of him, abandons his home and 
moves on to some spot where he can have more 
elbow-room, — to a region not so thickly peopled. 

He informed us that we sliould find the old 
trail we were searching for about a mile ahead. 
He had long matted hair, beard hanging upon his 
breast, a wrinkled countenance, wore a slouched 
felt hat, an old checked-cotton shirt, and panta- 
loons so patched and darned, so variegated in color, 
that it w^ould require much study to determine 
what was original texture and what patch and 
darn. He came from Ohio in his youth, and lias 
always been a skirmisher on the advancing line of 
civilization, — a few miles ahead of the main body. 
He was thinking now of going into the " bush/' as 
lie phrased it. 


Settlers further down the trail inforiuecl us tlmt 
lie was a little tlighty and queer; that he could 
not be induced to stay long in one place, hut was 
always on the move for a more quiet nei;^dil)orhood ! 

The road that we reached at this point was for- 
merly traversed by the French and Indian traders 
l)etwcon Pembina and the Mississippi, but has not 
lieen used much of late years. Striking that, we 
should have no difliculty in reaching the settle- 
ments of the Otter-Tail, forty miles south. 

Emigration travels fast. As fires blown by 
winds sweep through the dried grass of the prai- 
ries, so civilization spreads along the frontier. 

We reached the settlement on Saturday night, 
and pitched our tents for the Sabbath. It was a 
rare treat to these people to come into our camji 
and hear a sermon from Eev. Dr. Lord. The oldest 
member of the colony is a woman, now in her eigh- 
tieth year, with eye undimmed and a countenance 
remarkably free from the marks of age, who walks 
with a firm step after fourscore years of labor. 
Sixty years ago she moved from Lebanon, New 
Hampshire, a young wife, leaving the valley of the 
Connecticut for a home in the State of New York, 
then moving with the great army of emigrants to 
Ohio, Illinois, Missoiiri, and Iowa in succession, 
and now beginning again in Minnesota. Last year 
her hair, which had been as white as the purest 
snow, began to take on its original color, and is 


now quite dark ! There are Imt few instances on 
record of siicli a renewal of youth. 

Tlie l)arty liave come from central Iowa to make 
this their future home, preferring tlie climate of 
tliis region, wliere the clianges of temperature arc 
not so sudden and varia})le. The women and chil- 
dren of the four families lived here alone for six 
weeks, while the men were away after their stock. 
Their nearest neiglibors are twelve miles distant. 
On the 4th of July all hands — men, women, and 
children — travellea forty-five miles to celebrate 
the day. • • " 

" We felt/' said one of the women, " that we 
could n't get through the year without going some- 
where or seeing somebody. It is kinder lonely so 
far away from folks, and so we went down country 
to a picnic." • 

Store, church, and school are all forty miles 
away, and till recently the nearest saw-mill was 
sixty miles distant. Now they can get their 
wheat ground by going forty miles. 

The settlement is already blooming with half a 
dozen children. Other emigrants are coming, and 
these people are looi> .ig forward to next year 
with hope and confidence, for then they will have 
a school of their own. 

In our march south from Detroit Lake we meet 
a large number of Chippewa Indians going to the 
Eeservation recently assigned them by the govern- 


mcnt in one of tlie fuirest sections of Minnesota. 
Among tlumi we sec several woni' n with blue 
eyes and light hair and fair complexions, who 
liave French blood in their veins, and possibly 
some of them may have had American fathers. 
Nearly all of the Indians wear pantaloons and 
jackets ; but here and there we see a brave who 
is true to his ancestry, who is proud of his lineage 
and race, and is in all respects a savage, in mocca- 
sons, blankeJ;, skunk-skin head-dress, and painted 
eagle's feathers. 

They are friendly, inoffensive, and indolent, and 
took no part in the late war. They have been in 
close contact with the wdiites for a long time, but 
they do not advance in civilization. All eftbrts 
for their elevation are like rain-drops falling on a 
cabbage-leaf, that roll off and leave it dry. There 
is little absorption on the part of the Indians ex- 
cept of wliiskey, and in that respect their powers 
are great, — equal to those of the driest toper in 
Boston or anywhere else devoting all his energies 
to getting round the Prohibitory Law. 

Our halting-place for Monday night is on the 
bank of the Otter-Tail, near Rush Lake. The 
tents are pitched, the camp-fire kindled, supper 
eaten, anv^ we are sitting before a pile of blazing 
logs. The nv is falling, and the fire is comfort- 
able and social. We look into the glowing coals 
and think of old times, and of friends far away. 



We dream of home. Then tlie jest and the story 
go round. The song would follow if we had the 
singers. But music is not wanting. We hear 
martial strains, — of cornets, trombones, ophi- 
cleides, and horns, and t'le beating of a drum. 
Torcdies gleam upon the horizon, and by their 
flickering light we see a band advancing over the 
prairie. It is a march of welcome to the Northern 
Pacific Exploring Party. 

Not an hour ago these musicians heard of our 
arrival, and here they are, twelve of them, in our 
camp, doing their best to express their joy. They 
are Germans, — all young men. Three years ago 
several families came here from Ohio. They re- 
ported the soil so fertile, the situation so attrac- 
tive, the prospects so flattering, that others came ; 
and now they have a dozen families, and more are 
coming to this land of promise. 

Take a good long look at these men as they 
stand before our camp-fire, with their bright new 
instruments in their hands. They received theiii 
only three weeks ago from Cincinnati. 

" We can't play much yet," says the leader, Mr. 
Bertenheimer, " but we do the best we can. We 
have sent to Toledo for a teacher who will spend 
the winter with us. You will pardon our poor 
playing, but we felt so good when we heard you 
were here looking out a route for a railroad, that 
we felt like doing something to show our good- 


will. You see we are just getting started, and 
liave to work hard, but w^e wanted some recreation, 
and we concluded to get up a band. We thought 
it would be better tlian to be hanging round a 
grocery. We have n't any grocery yet, and if we 
keep sober, and give our attention to other things, 
perhaps we sha' n't have one, — which, I reckon, 
will be all the better for us." 

Plain and simple the Avords, but there is more 
in them than in many a windy speech made on 
the rostrum or in legislative halls. Just getting 
started ! Yet here upon the frontier Art has 
planted herself. The flowers of civilization are 
blooming on the border. 

As we listen to the parting strains, and watch 
the receding forms, and look into the coals of our 
camp-fire after their departure, we feel that there 
must be a bright future for a commonwealth that 
can grow such fruit on the borders of the uncul- 
tivated wilderness. 

ISTow just ride out and see what has been done 
by these emigrants. Here is a field containing 
thirty acres of as fine wheat as grows in Minne- 
sota. It is just taking on the golden hue, and will 
be ready for the reaper next week. Beside it are 
twenty acres of oats, several acres of corn, an acre 
or two of potatoes. This is one farm only. On 
yonder slope there stands a two-storied house, of 
liewn logs and sliingled roof. See what adornment 


the wife or daugliter has given to the front yard, 
— verbenas, petunias, and nasturtiums, and round 
the door a living wreath of morning-glories. 
Cows chew their cud in the stable-yard, while 

*' Drowsy tinklings lull the distant field " 

where the sheep are herded. 

We shall find the scene repeated on the adjoin- 
ing farm. Sheltered beneath the grand old forest- 
trees stands the little log church with a cross upon 
its roof, and here we see coming down the road 
the venerable father and teacher of the commu- 
nity, in long black gown and broad-brimmed hat, 
with a crucifix at his girdle. It is a Catholic 
community, and they brought their priest with 

In the morning we ride over smiling prairies, 
through groves of oak and maple, and behold in 
the distance a large territory covered with the 
lithe foliage of the tamarack. Here and there are 
groves of pine rising like islands above the wide 
level of the forest. 

At times our horses walk on pebbly beaches and ' 
splash their hoofs in tlie limpid waters of the 
lakes. AVe pick up agates, carnelians, and bits of 
bright red porpliyry, washed and worn by the 
waves. Wild swans rear their young in the reeds 
and marshes bordering the streams. They grace- 
fully glide OA^er the still waters. They ara beyond 
the reach of our rifles, and we would not harm 


them if we could. There is a good deal of the 
savage left in a man who, under the plea of 
sport, C£.n wound or kill a harmless bird or beast 
that car.not be made to serve his wants. It gives 
me pier -ure to say that our party are not blood- 
thirsty. Ducks, plover, snipe, wild geese, and 
sand-hill cranes are served at our table, but they 
are never shot in wanton spot. 

The stream which we have crossed several times 
is the Otter-Tail and flows southward into Otter- 
Tail La-ke ; issuing from that it runs southwest, 
tlien west, then northward, taking the name of the 
Eed Eiver, and pours its waters into Lake Winni- 
peg. From that great northern reservoir the wa- 
ters of this western region of Minnesota reach 
Hudson Bay through Nelson Eiver. 

Looking eastward we see gleaming in the morn- 
ing sunlight the Leaf Lakes, the head-waters of 
the Crow- Wing, one of the largest western tribu- 
taries of the Upper Mississippi. 

The neck of land between these lakes and the 
Ottej-Tail is only one mile wide. Here, from time 
out of mind among the Indians, the transit has 
been made between the waters flowing into the 
Gulf of Mexico and into Hudson Bay. When 
the Jesuit missionaries came here, they found it 
the great Indian carrying-place. 

Mackenzie, Lord Selkirk, and all the early ad- 
venturers, came by this route on their way to Brit- 


ish America. For a long time it has been a trad- 
ing-post. The French Jesuit fathers were here a 
century ago and are here to-day, — not spiritual 
fathers alone, but according to the flesh as weU ! 
The settlement is composed wholly of French Ca- 
nadians, their Indian wives and copper-colored 
children. There are ten or a dozen houses, but they 
are very dilapidated. A little old man with twink- 
ling gray eyes, wearing a battered white liat, comes 
out to welcome us, while crowds of swarthy chil- 
dren and Indian women gaze at us from the door- 
ways. Another little old man, in a black gown 
and broad-brimmed hat, with a long chain and 
crucifix dangling from his girdle, salutes us with 
true French politeness. He is the priest, and is as 
seedy as the village itself. 

Around the place are several birch-bark Ind- 
ian huts, and a few lodges of tanned buffalo-hides. 
Filth, squalor, and degradation are the charac- 
teristics of the lodge, and the civilization of the 
log-houses is but little removed from that of the 

The French Canadian takes about as readily to 
the Indian maiden as to one of his own race. He 
is kinder than the Indian brave, and when he 
wants a wife he will find the fairest of the maidens 
ready to listen to his words of love. 




OUR halting-place at noon furnishes a pleasing 
subject for a comic artist. Behold us be- 
neath the shade of old oaks, our horses cropping 
the rank grass, a fire kindled against the trunk of 
a tree that has braved the storms of centuries, each 
toasting a slice of salt pork. . # 

Governor, members of Congress, minister, judge, 
doctor, teamster, correspondent, — all hands are at 
it. Salt pork ! Does any one turn up his nose at 
it ? Do you think it hard fare ? Just come out 
here and try it, after a twenty-five-mile gallop on 
horseback, in this clear, bracing atmosphere, with 
twenty more miles to make before getting into 
camp. We slept in a tent last night ; had break- 
fast at 5 A. M. ; are camping by night and tramp- 
ing by day ; are bronzed by the sun ; and are 
roughing it ! The exercise of the day gives sweet 
sleep at night. We had a good appetite at break- 
fast, and now, at noon, are as hungry as bears. 
Salt pork is not of much account in a down-town 
eating-house, but out here it is epicurean fare. 

Just see the Ex-Governor of the Green Mountain 
State standing before the fire with a long stick in 


Ills hand, having three prongs like Neptune's trident. 
He is doing his pork to a beautiful brown. Now 
he lays it between two slices of bread, and eats it 
as if it were a most delicious morsel, — as it is. 

A dozen toasting-forks are held up to the glow- 
ing coals. A dozen slices of pork are sizzling. 
We are not all of us quite so scientific in our toast- 
ing as the Ex-Governor in his. ■ 

Although I have had camp-life before, and have 
fried flapjacks on an old iron shovel, I am subject 
to mishaps. There goes my pork into the ashes ; 
nev^ mind ! I shall need less pepper. I job my 
trident into tlie slice, — flaming now, and turning to 
crisp, — hold it a moment before the coals, and slap 
it on my bread in season to save a little of the 
drip. . <• • 

Do I hear some one exclaim, How can he eat it ? 
Ah ! you who never have had experience on the 
prairies don't know the pleasures of such a lunch. 

Now, because we are all as jolly as we can be, 
because I have praised salt pork, I would n't have 
everybody rushing out here to try it, as they have 
rushed to the Adirondacks, fired to a high pitch of 
enthusiasm by the spirited descriptions of the 
pleasures of the wilderness by the pastor of the 
Boston Park Street Church. What is sweet to me 
may be sour to somebody else. I should not like 
this manner of life all the time, nor salt pork for 
a steady diet. 


Wooded prairies, oak openings, hills and vales, 
watered by lakes and ponds, — such is the character 
of the region lying south of Otter-Tail. Over all 
this section the water is as pure as that gurgling 
from the hillsides of New Hampshire. 

Minnesota is one of the best-watered States of 
the Union. The thousands of lakes and ponds 
dotting its surface are fed by never-failing springs. 
This one feature adds immeasurably to its value 
as an agricultural State. In Illinois, Iowa, and 
Nebraska the farmer is compelled to pump water 
for his stock, and in those States we see windmills 
erected for that purpose ; but here the ponds are 
so numerous and the springs so abundant that far 
less pumping will be required than in the other 
prairie States of the Union. 

We fall in with a Dutchman, where we camp for 
the night, who has taken up a hundred and sixty 
acres under the Pre-emption Act. He has put up 
a log-hut, turned a few acres of the sod, and is 
getting ready to live. His thrifty wife has a flock 
of hens, which supply us with fresh eggs. This 
pioneer has recently come from Montana. He had 
a beautiful farm in the Deer Lodge Pass of the 
Piocky Mountains, witliin seven miles of the sum- 

" I raised as good wheat there as I can here," 
he says, — " thirty bushels to the acre." 

" Why did you leave it ? " 


" I could n't sell anything. There is no market 
there. The farmers raise so much that they can 
hardly give their grain away." 

" Did you sell your farm ? " 

" No, I left it. It is there for anybody to take." 

" Is it cold there ? " 

" No colder than it is here. We have a few cold 
days in winter, but not much snow. Cattle live 
in the fields through the winter, feeding on bunch- 
grass, which grows tall and is very sweet." 

Here was information worth having, — the ex- 
perience of a farmer. The Deer Lodge Pass is at 
the head-waters of the Missouri, in the main di- 
vide of the Eocky Mountains, and one of the sur- 
veyed lines of the Northern Pacific Eailroad passes 
through it. We have thought of it as a place 
where a tailroad train would be frozen up and 
buried beneath descending avalanches ; but here is 
a man who has lived within seven miles of the top 
of the mountains, who raised the best of wheat, 
the meahest of potatoes, whose cattle lived in the 
pastures through the winter, but who left his farm 
for the sole reason that he could not sell any- 
thing. Montara has no market except among the 
mining population, and the miners are scattered 
over a vast region. A few farmers in the vicinity 
of a mining-camp supply the wants of the place. 
Farming will not be remunerative till a railroad is 
completed up the vaUey of the Yellowstone or 





Missouri. Wliat stronger arfjument can there be, 
what demonstration more forci])le, for the imme- 
diate construction of the Northern Pacific Ifail- 
road ? It will pass through the heart of the Ter- 
ritory which is yielding more gold and silver than 
any other Territory or State. 

This farmer says that Montana is destined to be 
a great stock-growing State. Cattle thrive on the 
hunch-gTass. The hills are covered with it, and 
millions of acres that cannot be readily cultivated 
will furnish pasturage for flocks and herds. This 
testimony accords with statements made by those 
who have visited the Territory, as well as by others 
who have resided there. 

We have met to-day a long train of wagons 
filled with emigrants, who have come from Wis- 
consin, Illinois, Indiana, and some from Ohio. 

Look at the wagons, each drawn by four oxen, — 
driven either by the owner or one of his barefoot 
boys. Boxes, barrels, chairs, tables, pots, and pans 
constitute the furniture. The grandmother, white- 
1^ aired, old, and wrinkled, and the wife with an 
infant in her arms, with three or four romping 
children around her, all sitting on a feather-bed 
beneath the white canvas covering. A tin kettle 
is suspended beneath the axle, in which a tow- 
headed urchin, covered with dust, is swinging, 
clapping his hands, and playing with a yeUow 
dog trotting behind the team. A hoop-skirt, a 


chicken-coop, a pig in a hox, are tlic most conspic- 
uous ol)ject3 that meet tlie eye as we look at 
the hinder part of the wagon. A barefooted boy, 
as bright-eyed as Wliittier's ideal, — now clone in 
chromo-lithograph, and adorning many a home, — 
marches behind, with his rosy-cheeked sister, driv- 
ing a cow and a calf. 

To-night they will be fifteen miles nearer their 
destination than they were in the morning. Some 
of the teams have been two months on the road, 
and a few more days will bring them to the spot 
which the emigrant has already selected for his 
future home. Tliey halt by the roadside at night. 
The oxen crop the rich grasses ; tlie cow supplies the 
little ones with milk ; the children gather an arm- 
ful of sticks, the mother makes a cake, and bakes 
it before the camp-fire in a tin baker such as was 
found in every New England home forty years ago ; 
the emigrant smokes his pipe, rolls himself in a 
blanket, and snores upon the ground beneath the 
wagon, while his family sleep equally well beneath 
the canvas roof above him. Another cake in the 
morning, w4th a slice of fried pork, a drink of 
coffee, and they are ready for the new day. 

Not only along this road, but every\vliere, we 
may behold just such scenes. A gre'^.t army of 
occupation is moving into the State. The advance 
is all along the line. Towns and villages are 
springing up as if by magic in every county. 


Every day adds thousands of acres to those al- 
ready under cultivation. The fields of this year are 
wider than they were a year ago, and twelve months 
hence will be much larger than they are to-day. 

In all new countries, no matter how fertile they 
may be, breadstuffs must be imported at the out- 
set. It was so when California was first settled ; 
but to-day California is sending her wheat all over 
the world. The first settlers of ]\Iinnesota were 
lumbermen, and up to 1857 there was not wheat 
enough produced in the State to supply their 
wants. The steamers ascending the Mississippi 
to St. Paul were loaded with flour, and tlie world 
at large somehow came to think of Minnesota as 
being so cold that wheat enough to supply the few 
lumbermen employed in the forests and on the 
rivers could never be raised there. 

See how this region, which we all thought of as 
lying too near the north pole to be worth any- 
thing, has developed its resources ! In 1854 the 
number of acres under cultivation in the State 
was only fifteen thousand, or about two thirds of 
a single township. 

Fifteen years have passed by, and the tilled area 
is estimated at about two million acres ! In 1857 
she imported grain ; but her yield of wheat the 
present year is estimated at more than twenty mil- 
lion bushels ! 

I would not make the farmers of New England 

6* I 


discontented. I would not advise all to put up 
their farms at auction, or any well-to-do farmer 
of Massachusetts or Vermont to leave his old 
home and rush out here without first coming to 
survey the country; but if I were a young man 
selling corsets and hoop-skirts to simpering young 
ladies in a city store, I would give such a jump 
over the counter that my feet would touch ground 
in the centre of a great prairie ! 

I would have a homestead out here. True, there 
would be hard fare at first. The cabin -would be 
of logs. There would be short commons for a year 
or two. But with my salt pork I would have 
pickerel, prairie chickens, moose, and deer. I 
should have calloused hands and the back-ache at 
times; but my sleep would be swe^^t. I should 
have no theatre to visit nightly, no star actors to 
see, and should miss the tramp of the great multi- 
tude of tlie city, — tlie ever-hurrying throng. The 
first year might be lonely ; possibly, I should have 
the blues now and then ; but, possessing my soul 
with patience a twelvemonth, I should have neigh- 
bors. The railroad would come. The little log- 
hut would give place to a mansion. Eoses would 
bloom in the garden, and morning-glories open 
their blue bells by the doorway. The vast ex- 
panse would wave with golden grain. Thrift and 
plenty, and civilization with all its comforts and 
luxuries, would be mine. 


Are the colors of the picture too bright ? Ee- 
niember that in 1849 Minnesota had less than five 
thousand inhabitants, and that to-day she has near- 
ly five hundred thousand. 

I am writing to young men who have the whole 
scope of life before tliem. You are a clerk in a 
store, with a salary of five hundred dollars, perhaps 
seven hundred. By stinting here and there you 
can just bring the year round. It is a long, long 
look ahead, and your brightest day-dream of the 
future is not very bright. 

Now take a look in this direction. You can get 
a hundred and sixty acres of land for two hun- 
dred dollars. If you obtain it near a railroad, it 
will cost three hundred and twenty dollars. It 
will cost three dollars an acre to plough the ground 
and prepare it for the first crop, besides the fen- 
cing. But the first crop, ordinarily, will more than 
pay the entire outlay for ground, fencing, and 
ploughing, rive years hence the land will be 
worth fifteen or twenty-five dollars per acre. This 
is no fancy sketch. It is simply a statement as 
to what has been the experience of thousands of 
people in Minnesota. 

Think of it, young men, you who are rubbing 
along from year to year with no great hopes for 
the future. Can you hold a plough ? Can you drive 
a span of horses ? Can you accept for a while 
the solitude of nature, and have a few hard knocks 


for a year or two ? Can you lay aside paper col- 
lars and kid gloves, and wear a blue blouse and 
blister your bands witb work ? Can you possess 
your soul in patience, and hold on your way with 
a firm purpose ? If you can, there is a beautiful 
home for you out here. Prosperity, freedom, inde- 
pendence, manhood in its highest sense, peace of 
mind, and all the comforts and luxuries of life, 
are awaiting you. 

There is no medicine for a wearied mind or 
jaded body equal to life on the prairies. When 
our party left the East, every member of it was 
worn down by hard work. Some of us were dys- 
peptic, some nervous, while others had tired brains. 
It is the misfortune of Americans to be ever work- 
ing* as if they were in the iron-mills, or as if the 
Philistines had them in the prison-house ! 

We have been a few weeks upon the frontier, 
— been beyond the reach of the daily newspaper, 
beyond care and trouble. The world has got on 
without us, and now we are on our w^ay back, 
changed beings. We are as good as new, — tough, 
rugged, hale, hearty, and ready for a frolic here, 
or another battle with life when we reach home. 

Behold us at our halting-place for tlie night ; a 
clear stream near by winding through pleasant 
meadows, bordered by oaks and maples. The 
horses are unharnessed, and are rolling in the tall 
grass after their long day's work. The teamsters 


are pitching the tents, the cook is busy with his 
pots and kettles. Ah-eady we inhale the aroma 
steaming from the nose of the coffee-pot. The 
pork and fish and plover over the fire, like a mis- 
sionary or colporteur or Sunday-school teacher, 
are doing good ! AVhat odor more refreshing than 
that exhaled from a coffee-pot steaming over a 
camp-fire, after twelve hours in the saddle, — the 
fresh breeze fanning your cheeks, and every sense 
intensified by beholding ther far-reaching fields 
blooming with flowers or waving with ripening 


The shadows of night are falling, and though the 
sun has shone through a cloudless sky the evening 
air is chilly. We will warm it by kindling a 
grand bivouac-fire, where, after supper, we will sit 
in solemn council, or crack jokes, or tell stories, as 
the whim of- the hour shall lead us. 

There was a time when the gray-beards of our 
party were youngsters and played " horse " with a 
wooden bit between the teeth, the reins handled 
by a white-haired schoolmate. How we trot- 
ted, cantered, reared, pranced, backed, and then 
rushed furiously on, making the little old hand- 
cart rattle over the stones ! It was long ago, but 
we have not forgotten it, and to-nigjit we will be 
boys once more. ' ^ . . - 

Yonder by the roadside lies a fallen oak, a mon- 
arch of the forest, broken down by the wind, — 


by the same tempest that levelled our tents. It 
shall blaze to-night. We will sit in its cheerful 
liglit. It would be ignoble to hack it to pieces and 
bring it into camp an armful at a time ; we will 
drag it bodily, lop off the limbs and pile them 
high upon the trunk, touch a match to the with- 
ered leaves, and warm the chilly air. 

" All hands to the harness ! " It is a royal team. 
How could it be otherwise with the Ex-Governor 
of the Green Mountain State for leader, matched 
with our Judge, who, for sixteen years, honored 
the judiciary of Maine, with three members of 
Congress past and present, a doctor of divinity 
and another of medicine, — all in harness ? We 
have a strong cart-rope of the best Manilla hemp, 
which has served us many a turn in pulling our 
wagons through the sloughs, and which is brought 
once more into service. A few strokes of the axe 
provide us with levers which serve for yokes. We 
pair off, two and two, and take our places in the 

" Are you all ready ? Now for it ! " It is the 
voice of our leader. 

" Gee up 1 Whoa ! Whoa ! Hip ! Hurrah ! Now 
she goes !" ■ ' ' ^ - - ' ' 

We shout and sing, and feel an ecstatic thrill 
running all over us, from the tips of our fingers 
down into our boots ! 

What a deal of power there is in a yeU ! The 


teamster screams to his liorses ; tlie plough-boy 
makes himself hoarse hy shouting to his oxen ; the 
fireman feels that he is doing good service when 
lie goes tearing down the street yelling with all 
liis might. He never would put out the fire if 
lie could n't yell. A hurrah elected General Har- 
rison President of the United States, and it has 
won many a political battle-field. A hurrah starts 
the old oak from its bed. See the Executive as 
he sets his compact shoulders to the work, mak- 
ing the lever bend before him. Notice the tall 
form of the Judge bowing in the traces ! If the 
rope does not break, the log is bound to come. 

The two are good at pulling. They have shown 
their power by dragging one of the greatest enter- 
prises of modern times over obstacles that would 
have discouraged men of weaker nerve. The pub- 
lic never will know of the hard work performed 
by them in starting the Northern Pacific Piailroad, 
— how they have raised it from obscurity, from 
obloquy, notwithstanding opposition and prejudice. 
The time will come when the public will look 
upon the enterprise in its true light. When the 
road is opened from Lake Superior westward, when 
the traveller finds on eveiy hand a country of 
surpassing richness, a climate in the Northwest as 
mild as that of Pennsylvania, when he sees the 
numberless attractions and exhaustless resources 
of the land, then, and not till then, will the labors 


of Governor Smith and his associates in carrying 
on this work be appreciated. 

To-night they enter with all the zest of youth 
into the project of building a camp-fire, and tug at 
the rope with the enthusiasm of boyhood. 

It is a strong team. Our doctor of divinity, 
whetlier in the pulpit or on the prairie, pulls with 
" a forty parson power," to use Byron's simile. 
And our M. D., whether he has hold of a gnarled 
oak or the stump of a molar in the mouth of a 
pretty young lady, is certain to mast'T it. 

A member of Congress " made believe pull," as 
we used to say in our boyhood, but complacently 
smoked his pipe the while ; the correspondent 
tipped a wink at the smoker, seized hold of a 
lever, shouted and yelled as if laying out all his 
strength, and pulled — about two pounds ! But 
we dragged it in amid the hurrahs of the team- 
sters, wiped the sweat from our brows, and then 
through the evening sat round the blazing log, and 
made the air ring with our merry laughter. So 
we rubbed out the growing ^vrinkles, smoothed the 
lines of care, and turned back the shadow creeping 
up the dial. 









IN" preceding chaj^ters the characteristics of the 
country west of the Mississippi have been 
set forth ; but many a man seeking a new home 
would be lonely upon the prairies. The lumber- 
man of Maine, who was born in tlie forest, who 
in childhood listened to the sweet but mournful 
music of the ever-sighing pines, would be home- 
sick away from the grand old woods. The trees 
are his friends. The open country would be a soli- 
tude, but in the depths of the forest he would ever 
find congenial company. There the oaks, tlie elms, 
and maples reach out their arms lovingly above 
him, sheltering him alike from winter's blasts and 
summer's heats. Even though he may have no 
poetry in his soul, the woods will have a charm for 
him, for there he finds a harvest already grown 
and waiting to be gathered, as truly as if it were so 
many acres of ripened wheat. 

It is not difficult to pick out the " Down-Easters " 
in Minnesota. "When I hear a man talk about 
" stumpage " and " thousands of feet," I know that 
he is from the Moosehead region, oi* has been in 
a lumber camp on the Chesuncook. He has eaten 

138 THE SEAT OF FMrillE. 

pork and beans, and slept on hemlock boughs on 
the banks of the Madawaska. When he cocks his 
head on one side and squints up a pine-tree, I 
know tliat he has Blodget's Table in his brain, and 
can tell the exact amount of clear and merchant- 
able lumber wliicli the tree will yield. His para- 
dise is in the forest, and there alone. 

The region east of the Mississippi and around 
its head-waters is the Eden of lumbermen. 

The traveller who starts from St. Paul and trav- 
els westward will find a prairie country ; but if he 
travels eastward, or toward the northeast, he will 
find himself in the woods, where tall pines and 
spruces and oaks and maples rear their gigantic 
trunks. It is not all forest, for here and there we 
see " openings " where the sunlight falls on pleas- 
ant meadows ; but speaking in general terms, the 
entire country east of the Mississippi, in Minne- 
sota and northern Wisconsin, and in that portion 
of Michigan lying between Lake Superior and 
Lake Michigan, is the place for the lumberman. 

The soil is sandy, and the geologist will see 
satisfactory traces of the drift period, when a 
great flood of waters set southward, bringing gran- 
ite bowlders, pebbles, and stones from the country 
lying between Hudson Bay and Lake Superior. 

The forest growth affects the climate. There is 
more snow and rain east of the Mississippi than 
west of it. The temperature in winter on Lake 


Superior is milder than at St. Paul, but there is 
more moisture in the air. The climate at Dulutli 
or Superior City during the winter does not vary 
much from that of Chicago. Notwithstanding the 
difference of latitude, the isothermal line of mean 
temperature for the year runs from the lower end 
of Lake Michigan to tlie western end of Lake 
Superior. Probably " more snow falls in Minne- 
sota than around Chicago, for in all forest re- 
gions in northern latitudes tliere is usually a 
heavier rain and snow fall than in open coun- 
tries. The time will probably come when the 
rain-fall of eastern Minnesota and northern Mich- 
igan will be less than it is now. "VVhcn the lum- 
bermen have swept away the forests, the sun will 
dry up the moisture, there will be less rain east 
of the Mississippi, wliile the probabilities are 
that it will be increased westward over all the 
prairie region. Orchards, groves, corn - fields, 
wheat-fields, clover-lands, — all will appear with 
the advance of civilization. They will receive 
more moisture from the surrounding air than the 
prairie grasses do at the present time. Every- 
body knows that the hand of man is powerful 
enough to change climate, — to increase the rain- 
fall here, to diminish it there ; to lower the tem- 
perature, or to raise it. 

^ The Ohio Eiver is dwindling in size because the 
forests of Ohio rnd Pennsylvania are disappearing. 


Palestine, Syria, and Greece, altliough they have 
supported dense populations, are barren to-day be- 
cause the trees have been cut down. If this 
were an essay on the power of man over nature, 
instead of the AVTiting out of a few notes on the 
Northwest, I might go on and give abundant data; 
but I allude to it incidentally in connection with 
the climate, which fifty years hence will not in all 
probability be tlie same that it is to-day. 

Having in preceding pages taken a survey of the 
magnificent farming region beyond the Mississippi, 
it remains for us to take a look at the country 
between the Mississippi and Lake Superior. 

Leaving our camp equipage and the horses that 
had borne us over tlie prairies, bidding good by to 
our many friends in Minneapolis and St. Paul, we 
started from the last-named city for a trip of a 
hundred and fifty miles through the w^oocls. The 
first fifty miles was accomplished by rail, through 
a country partially settled. Upon the train were 
several ladies and gentlemen on their w^ay to 
"Wlnte Bear Lake, not the White Bear of the 
West, but a lovely sheet of w^ater ten miles north 
of St. Paul. It is but a few years since Wabashaw 
and his dusky ancestors trolled their lines by day 
and speared pickerel and pike by torchlight at 
night upon its placid bosom, but now it is the 
favorite resort of picnic-parties from St. Paul. Here 
and there along the shores are low giuss-grown 


monnments, raised by the Chippewas when they 
^vel•c a powerful nation anionj^ the Eed Mtn. • 

'* But now tho wlient is green and high 
On clods that hid the warrior's breast. 
And scattered iii the furrows lie 
The weapons of his rest." 

The lake is six miles long and dotted with isl- 
ands. It was a general gathering-place of tlic 
Indians, as it is now of the people of the sur- 
rounding country. Its curving shores and pehhly 
Ijoaches, bordered by a magnificent forest, present 
a charming and peaceful picture. 

We are accompanied on our trip by the Pres- 
ident of the Lake Superior and Mississippi liail- 
road, and other gentlemen connected with the 
railroads of the Northwest. At Wyoming we 
leave our friends, bid good by to the locomotive, 
and say how do you do to a bright new mud- 
wagon ! It is set on thorough - braces, with a 
canvas top. There are seats for nine inside and 
one with the driver outside. Carj^et-bags and 
valises are stowed under the seats. AVe have no 
extra luggage, but are in light staging order. 

We are bound for Superior and Duluth. 

" You will have a sweet time getting there," is 
the remark of a mud-bespattered man sitting on 
a pile of lumber by the roadside. He has just 
come through on foot with o dozen men, who 
have thrown down the shovel to take up the 


sickle, or rather to follow the reaper during hai^ 

What he means by our having a sweet time we 
do not quite comprehend. 

" You will find the road baddish in spots/' says 

A German, with bushy beard and uncombed 
hair, barefooted, and carrying his boots in his 
hands, exclaims, " It ish von tam tirty travel all 
the time ! " 

We understand him. With a crack of the whip 
we roll away, our horses on the trot, passing 
cleared fields, where cattle are up to their knees 
in clover, past wheat-fields ready for the reaper, 
reaching at noon our halting-place for dinner. 

Wlienever you find a farm-house anywhere out 
West where there are delicious apple-pies, or any- 
thing especially nice in the pastrj^ line, on the 
table, you may be pretty sure that the hostess 
came from Maine ; at least, such has been my expe- 
rience. I remember calling at a house in central 
Missouri during the war, and, instead of having the 
standard dish of the Southwest "hog and hom- 
iny," obtaining a luxurious dinner, finishing off 
with apple-pie, the pastry moulded by fair hands 
that were trained to housework on the banks of 
the Penobscot. Last year I found a lady from 
Maine among the Sierra Nevadas ; I was confi- 
dent that she was from the Pine-Tree State the 


moment I saw her pies ; for somehow the daugh- 
ters of Down East have the knack of making 
pastry that would dehght an epicure. And now 
ill Minnesota we sit down to a substantial dinner 
topped off, rounded, and made complete by a 
piece of Maine ap2~»le-pie. 

The daughters of New Hampshire and of Ver- 
mont may possibly make just as good cooks, but 
it has so happened that we have fallen in with 
housewives from Maine when our appetite was 
sharpened for something good. 
. Our dinner is at tiie house of a farmer who 
came to Minnesota from the Kennebec. He knew 
how to swing an axe, and the oaks and maples 
liave fallen before his sturdy strokes ; the plough 
and harrow and stump-puller have been at work, 
and now we look out upon wheat-fields and acres 
of waving corn, inhale the fragrance of white 
clover, and hear the humming of the bees. We 
see at a glance the capabilities of the forest region 
of Minnesota. We understand it just as well as 
if we were to read all the works extant on soil, 
climatology, natural productions, etc. Here, as 
well as westward of the Mississippi, wheat, corn, 
potatoes, clover, and timothy can be successfully 
and profitably cultivated. 

" I raised thirty-five bushels of wheat to the acre 
last year, and I guess I shall have that this year," 
said the owner of the farm. 


Tliis well-to-do farmer and his wife came here 
witliont capital, or ratlier witli capital arms and 
strong hearts, to rear a home, and here it is : a 
neat farm-house of two stories ; a carpet on the 
floor, a sofa, a rocking-chair, pictures on the walls ; 
a large barn ; granary well filled, — a comfortable 
home with a bright future before them. 

When the timber has disappeared from eastern 
Minnesota, the land will produce luxuriantly. The 
country will not be settled quite as rapidly here as 
west of the Mississippi ; but it is not to be forever 
a wilderness. The time will come when along 
every stream there will be heard the buzzing of 
saws, the whirring of mill-stones, and the click 
and clatter of machinery. This vast area of tim- 
ber will inyite every kind of manufacturing, and 
the same elements which have contributed so 
largely to build up the Eastern States — the man- 
ufacturing and industrial — will here aid in build- 
ing up one of the strongest communities of our 
future republic. 

Clearings here and tliere, cabins by the road- 
side, bark wigwams wdiich have sheltered wander- 
ing Ojibwas, and a reach of magnificent forest, are 
the features of the country through which we ride 
this glorious afternoon, with the sunlight glimmer- 
ing among the trees, till suddenly we come upon 
Chengwatona. ' - 

It is a small village on Snake Eiver, with a 


hotel, half a dozen houses, and a saw-mill where 
pine logs are going up an incline from the pond at 
one end, and coming out in the shape of bright 
new lumber at the other. 

The dam at Cheng watona has flooded an im- 
mense area, and looking toward the descending sun 
we behold a forest in decay. The trees are leafless, 
and the dead trunks rising from the water, robbed 
of all their beauty, present an indescribable scene 
of desolation when contrasted with the luxuriance 
of the living forest through which we have passed. 

With a fresh team we move on, finding mud 
" spots " now and then. We remember the re- 
marks of tlie fellows at the railroad. We dive into 
holes, the forward wheels going down kercJiug, send- 
ing bucketsful of muddy water upward to the roof 
of the wagon and forward upon the horses ; jounce 
over corduroy which sets our teeth to chattering ; 
then come upon a series of hollows through which 
we ride as in a jolly-boat on the waves of the sea. 
The wagon is ballasted by two members of Con- 
gress on the back seat, and by our rotund physi- 
cian and the Vice-President of the Northern Pa- 
cific on the middle seat. The President is out- 
side with tlie driver, on the lookout for breakers, 
while the rest of us, like passengers on shipboard, 
stowed beneath the hatches, must take whatever 
comes. The members of Congress bob up and 
down like electric pith-balls between the negative 
7 J 


and positive poles of a galvanic battery, — only 
that the positive is the prevailing force ! When 
the forward wheels go down to the hub, they go 
up ; and then, as they descend, the seat, by some 
unaccountable process, comes up, meets them half- 
way, — and with such a bump ! 

Then we who are shaking our sides with laugh- 
ter on the front seat, congratulating ourselves, like 
the Pharisees, that we are not as tliey are, suddenly 
find ourselves sprawling on the floor. AVhen ^^■e 
regain our places, the ^I. D. and Vice-President 
come forward with a rush and embrace us frater- 
nally. We get our legs so mixed up with our 
neighbors' that we can hardly tell wdiether our feet 
belong to ourselves or to somebody else ! The 
lifht weidrts of the party are knocked about like 
shuttlecocks, wliile the solid ones roll like those 
ridiculous, round-bottomed, grinning images that 
we see in the toy-shops ! I myself going up 
and down after the manner of Sancho Panza when 
tossed in a blanket. 

Our dinners are well settled wdien we reacli 
Grindstone, — our stopping-place for the niglit. 
The town is located on Grindstone Creek, and con- 
sists of a log-house and stable, surrounded ]>y 
burnt timber. 

Half a dozen men who have footed it from 
Duluth are nursing their sore feet in one of the 
three rooms on the ground-floor. The furniture 


of the apartment consists of a cast-iron stove in 
the centre and three rough benches against the 
walls, which are papered with pictorial newspa- 

Tlie occupants are discussing the future pros- 
pects of Dulutli. 

" It is a right smart chance of a place," says a 
tall, thin-faced, long-nosed man stretched in one 
corner. We know by the utterance of that one 
sentence that he is from southern Illinois. 
' " They have got their ^'-deas pretty well up 
though, on real estate, for a town that is only a 
yearlin'," says another, who, by his accent of the 
?', has shown that he too is a "Western man. 

An Amazon in stature, with a round red face, 
hurries up a supper of pork and fried eggs ; and 
then we who are going northward, and they wdio 
are travelling southward, — sixteen of us, all told, 
— creep up the narrow stairvv'ay to the unfinished 
garret, and go to bed, with our noses close to the 
rafters and long shingles, through the crevices of 
which we look out and behold the stars marching 
in grand procession across the midnight sky. 

It is glorious to lie there and feel the tire and 
weariness go out of us ; to look into the " eterni- 
ties of space," as Carlyle says of the vault of 
lieaven. But our profound thoughts upon the 
measureless empyrean are brought down to sub- 
lunary things by four of the sleepers who engage 


in a snoring contest. The race is so close, neck 
and neck, or rather nose and nose, that it is im- 
possible to decide whether the deep sonorous — 
not to say snorous ? — bass of tlie big fellow by the 
window, or the sharp, piercing, energetic snorts 
of the tliin-faced, lantern -jawed, long-nosed man 
from southern Illinois, is entitled to the trumpet 
or horn, or whatever may be appropriate to sig- 
nalize such championship. Either of them would 
have been a power in the grand chorus of the 
Coliseum Jubilee, and both together would be 
equal to the big organ ! 

We are off early in the morning, feeling a little 
sore in spots. The first thump extorts a sudden 
oh ! from a member of Congress, but we are philo- 
sophic, and accommodate ourselves to circum- 
stances, tell stories between the bumpings, and 
make the grand old forest ring with our laughter. 
It is glorious to get away from the town, and out 
into the woods, where you can shout and sing and 
let yourself out without regard to what folks will 
say! The fountain of perennial youth is in the 
forest, — never in the city. Its healing, beautify- 
ing, and restoring waters do not run through 
aqueducts ; they are never pumped up ; but you 
nmst lie down upon the mossy bank beneath old 
trees and drink from the crystal stream to obtain 

We quench our thirst from gurgling brooks, pick 


berries by the roadside, walk aliead of the him- 
bering stage, and enjoy the solitude of the inter- 
minable forest. 

Eighteen miles of travel brings us to Kettle 
liiver Crossing, where we sit down to a dinner of 
blackberries and milk, bread and butter, and black- 
berry-pie, in a clean little cottage, with pictures 
on the walls, books on a shelf, a snow-white cloth 
on the table, and a trim little woman waiting 
upon us. 

" May I ask where you are from ? " 

" Manchester, New Hampshire." 

It was Lord Morpeth or the Duke of Argyle, I 
have forgotten which, who said that New England 
looked as if it had just been taken out of a band- 
box ; so with this one-storied log-house and every- 
thing around it. We had sour-krout at Grind- 
stone, but have blackberries here ; and that is just 
the difference between Dutchland and New Eng- 
land, whether you seek for them on the Atlantic 
sloj)e or in the heart of the continent. 

Space is Avanting to tell of all the incidents of 
a three days' forest ride, — how we trolled for 
pickerel on a little lake, seated in a birch-bark canoe, 
and hauled them in hand over hand, — bouncing 
follows that furnished us a delicious breakfast ; 
how we laughed and told stories, never minding 
the bumping and thumping of the wagon, and 
came out strong, like Mark Tapley, every one of 



US ; how WG gazed upon the towering pines and 
sturdy oaks, and beheld the gloom settling over 
nature when the great eelipse occurred ; and how, 
just as night was coming on, we entered Supe- 
rior, and saw a horned owl sitting on the ridge- 
pole of a deserted house in the outskirts of the 
town, surveying the desolate scene in the twilight, 
— looking out upon the cemetery, the tenantless 
houses, and the blinking lights in tlie windows. 

Superior has been, and still is, a city of the Fu- 
ture, rather than of the Present. It was laid out 
before the war on a magnificent scale by a party 
of Southerners, among whom was John C. Breck- 
enridge, who is still a large owner in corner lots. 

It has a fine situation at the southwestern cor- 
ner of the lake, on a broad, level plateau, with a 
densely timbered country behind it. The St. Louis 
Eiver, which rises in northern Minnesota, and 
which comes tumbling over a series of cascades 
formed by the high land between Lake Superior 
and the Mississippi, spreads itself out into a shal- 
low bay in front of the town, and reaches the lake 
over a sand-bar. 

Government has been erecting breakwaters to 
control the current of the river, with the expecta- 
tion of deepening the channel, which has about 
nine feet of water ; but thus far the improvements 
have not accomplished the desired end. The bar 
is a great impediment to navigation, and its exist- 



dice has had a Llighting effect on tlie once fair 
prospects of Superior City. Dredges are employed 
to (leejien the channel, but those thus far used are 
small, and not much has been accomplished. The 
citizens of Superior are confident that with a lil)- 
cral a2)propriation from government the channel 
can be deepened, and that, wlien once cleared out, 
it can be kept clear at a small expense. 

Superior has suffered severely from the reaction 
which followed the flush times in 1857. A large 
amount of money was expended in improvements, 
— grading streets, opening roads, building piers, 
and erecting houses. Then the war came on, and 
all industry was paralyzed. The Southern pro- 
prietors were in rebellion. The growth of the 
place, which had been considerable, came to a sud- 
den stand-still. 

The situation of the town, while it is fortunate 
in some respects, is unfortunate in others. It is 
in AVisconsin, while the point wliich reaches across 
the head of the lake is in Minnesota. The last- 
named State wanted a port on the lake in its own 
dominion, aLi so Duluth has sprung into exist- 
ence as the rival of its older neighbor. 

The St. Paul and Superior liailroad, having its 
terminus at Duluth, lies wholly within tlie State 
of Minnesota, and conies just near enough to Su- 
perior to tantalize and vex the good people of that 


But the citizens of that town have good phick. 
I do not know what motto tlu^y liave adopted for 
their great corporate seal, but Nil Dcspcrandam 
would best set forth their hopefulness and deter- 
mination. They are confident that Superior is yet 
to be the queen city of the lake, and are deter- 
mined to have railway comnmnication with the 
Mississippi by building a branch line to the St. 
Paul and Superior Road. 

Our party is kindly and hospitably entertained 
by the people of the place, and to those who think 
of the town as being so far northwest that it is be- 
yond civilization, I have only to say that there are 
few drawing-rooms in the East wdiere more agree- 
able company can be found than that which we 
find in one of the parlors of Superior ; few places 
where the sonatas of Beethoven and Mendelssohn 
can be more exquisitely rendered ujDon the piano- 
forte, by a lady Avho br.kes her own bread and 
cares for her family without the aid of a servant. 

Tt is the glory of our civilization that it adapts 
itself to all the circumstances of life. I have no 
doubt that if Minnie, or Winnie, or Georgiana, or 
almost any of the pale, attenuated young ladies 
who are now frittering aw^ay their time in study- 
ing the last style of panicrs, or thrumming the 
piano, or reading the last vapid novel, w^ere to have 
their lot cast in the "West, — on the frontiers of 
civilization, — where they would be com;pelled to do 


something for themselves or those around them, 
that they would niuufuUy and icomanfuUy accept 
the situation, be far happier than they now are, 
and worth more to themselves and to the world. 

I dare say that nine out of every ten young men 
selling dry-goods in retail stores in Boston and 
elsewliere have high hopes for the future. They 
are going to do something by and by. When tliey 
get on a little farther they will show us what they 
can accomplish. But the chances are tliat they 
will never get that little farther on. The tide is 
against them. One thing we are liable to forget ; 
we measure ourselves by what we are going to do, 
whereas the world estimates us by what we have 
already done. How any young man of spirit can 
settle himself down to earning a bare existence, 
when all this vast region of the Northwest, with 
its boundless undeveloped resources before him, is 
inviting him on, is one of the unexplained mys- 
teries of life. They will be Nobodies where they 
are ; they can be Somebodies in building up a new 
society. The young man who has measured off 
ri'obon several years, as thousands have who are 
doing no better to-day than they did five years 
ago, in all probability will be no farther along, ex- 
cept in years, five years hence than he is now. 





EMBARKING at a pier, and steering north- 
west, \vc pass uj) the bay, with the long, 
narrow, natural breakwater, Minnesota Point, on 
our right hand, and the level plateau of the 
main-land, with a heavy forest growth, on our left. 
Before us, on the sloping hillside of tlie northern 
shore, lies the rapidly rising town of Duluth, un- 
heard of twelve months ago, but now, to use a 
"Western term, " a right smart chance of a place." 

One hundred and ninety years ago Duluth, a 
French explorer, was coasting along these shores, 
and sailing up this bay over which we are gliding. 
lie wai. the first European to reach the head of the 
lake. He crossed the country to the Upper Mis- 
sissippi, descended it to St. Paul, where he met 
Father Hennipen, who had been held in captivity 
by the Indians. 

It is suitable that so intrepid an explorer should 
be held in remembrance, and the founders of the 
new town have done wisely in naming it for him, 
instead of calling it Washington or Jackson, or 
adding another " ville " to the thousands now so 
perplexing to post-office clerks. 

PUU'Tii. 155 

The new city of the Nnrtlnvest is sheltered 
from iiortlierly winds hy the high lands b(^lund it. 
The St. Louis Kiver, a stream as larj^c as tlie ^fer- 
riniac, after its turljulent course down tlie rocky 
rapids, witli a (Uiscent altogetlier of five hunch'tMl 
I'tH't, Hows peacefully past tlie town into tlie J>ay 
of Superior. The river and lake together have 
tlirown u]) tlie Ling and narrow strip of land 
called ^Minnesota Point, reaching nearly across the 
liead of the lake, and liehind which lies the bay. 
It is as if the Titans had thrown up a wide rail- 
way embankment, or had tried their hand at filling 
up the lake. The bay is shallow, but the men who 
projected the city of Duliith are in no wise daunted 
l)v that fact. Tliev have iilanned to make a harbor 
l)y building a mole out into the lake fifteen hun- 
dred or two thousand feet. It is to extend from 
the northern shore ftir enough to mve good an- 
cliorage and protection to vessels and steamers. 

The work to be done is in many respects similar 
to what has been accomplished at both ends of the 
Suez Canal. When M. Lesseps set about the con- 
struction of that magnificent enterprise, he found 
uo harbor on the Mediterranean side, but only a low 
sandy shore, against which the waves, driven by 
the prevailing western winds, were always break- 

The shore was a narrow strip of sand, behind 
which. lay a shallow lagoon called Lake Menzaleh. 


There was no granite or solid material of any de- 
scription at hand for the construction of a, break- 
water. Undaunted by the difficulties, he com- 
menced the manufacture of blocks of stone on the 
beach, mixing hydraulic lime brought from France 
with tlie sand of the shore, and moistening it 
with salt water. He erected powerful hydraulic 
presses and worked them by steam. After the 
blocks, which weighed twenty tons each, had dried 
three months, they were taken out on barges and 
tumbled 'uto the ocean in the line of the moles, one 
of which was 8,178 feet, nearly a mile and a half, 
in length ; the other 5,000 feet, enclosing an area 
of about five hundred acres. More than 100,000 
blocks of manufactured stone were required to 
complete these two walls. They were not laid in 
cement, for it has been found that a rubble wall is 
better than finished masonry to resist the action 
of the waves. Having completed the walls, 
dredges were set to work, and the area has been 
deepened enough to enable the largest vessels 
navigating the Mediterranean to find safe anclior- 

These breakwaters were required for the outer 
harbor, but an inner basin was needed. To obtain 
it, M. Lesseps cut a channel through the low ridge 
of sand to Lake Menzaleh, where the water upon 
an average was four feet deep. A large area has 
been dredged in the lake, and docks constructed, 

DULUTH. 157 

and now the commerce of the world between the 
Orient and the Occident passes through the basin 
of Port Said. 

The Suez Canal, the construction of a large 
harbor on the sand-beach of the Mediterranean, 
and another of equal capacity on the lied Sea, is 
one of the wonders of modern times, — a triumph 
of engineering skill and of the indomitable will 
of one eneri>;etic man. 

The people of Duluth will not be under the ne- 
cessity of manufacturing the material for tlie break- 
water, for along the northern shore there is an 
abundant supply of granite which can be easily 
quarried. It is proposed to make an inner harbor 
by digging a canal across Minnesota Point and 
excavating the shallows. 

The difficulties to be overcome at Duluth bear 
sliglit comparison with those already surmounted 
on the Mediterranean. The commercial men of 
Chicago contemplate the fencing in of a few hun- 
dred acres of Lake Michigan; and there is no 
reason to doubt that a like thing can be done at 
the western end of Lake Superior. 

Two years ago Duluth was a forest ; but in this 
month of May, 1870, it has two thousand inhab- 
itants, with the prospect of doubling its population 
within a twelvemontli. The woodman's axe is 
ringing on the hills, and the trees are falling be- 
neath his sturdy strokes. From morning till night 




we hear the joiner's plane and the click of the 
\ mason's trowel. You may find excellent accom- 
modation in a large hotel, erected at a cost of forty 
thousand dollars. We may purchase the products 
of all climes in the stores, — sugar from the West 
Indies, coffee from Java, tea from China, or silks 
from the looms of France. 

The printing-press is here issuing the Duluth 
]VIinnes(jtian, a sprightly sheet that looks sharply 
after the interests of this growing town. 

Musical as the ripples upon the pebbly shore of 
the lake are the voices of the children reciting 
their lessons in yonder school-house. I am borne 
back to boyhood days, — to the old school-house, 
with its hard benches, where I studied, played, 
cauglit Hies, was cheated swapping jack-knives, and 
got a licking besides ' Glorious days they were 
for all that ! 

Presbyterian and Episcopal churches are already 
organized, also an Historical Society. During the 
last winter a course of lectures was sustained. 

The stumps are yet to be seen in the streets, 
but such is the beginning of a town wliich may 
yet become one of the great commercial cities of 
tlie interior. 

A meteorological record kept at Superior since 
1855 shows that the average period of navigation 
has been two hundred and sixteen days, which is 
fully as long as the season at Chicago. 






No. of Days. 




















March 20 



















































Steaming up the river several miles to the foot 
of the first rapids, and landing on the northern 
shore, climbing up a wet and slippery bank of red 
clay we are on the line of the railroad, upon which 
several hundred men are employed. 

Grades of fifty feet to the mile are necessary 
from the lake up to the falls of the St. Louis, but 
tlie tonnage of the road will be largely eastward, 
down the grade, instead of westward. 

The road will be about a hundred and forty 
miles in length, connecting the lake witli the net- 
work of railroads centring at St. Paul. It is 
li])erally endowed, having in all 1,630,000 acres 
of land heavily timbered with pine, butternut, 
white oak, sugar-maple, ash, and other w^oods. 

There is no doul)t that this line of road will do 
an immense amount of business. Such is the 


estimation in which it is lield by the moneyed men 
of Philadelphia, that Mr. Jay Cooke obtained the 
entire amount of money necessary to construct it 
in four days ! The bonds, I believe, were not put 
upon the market in the usual manner, by adver- 
tising, but were taken at once by men who wanted 
them for investment. 

A single glance at the map must be sufficient to 
convince any intelligent observer of the value of 
such a franchise. The wheat of Minnesota, to 
reach Chicago now, must be taken by steamers to 
La Crosse or T^rairie du Chien, and thence trans- 
ported by rail across AVisconsin, but when this 
road is put in operation, the j)roducts of Minne- 
sota, gathered at St. Paul or Minneapolis, will seek 
this new outlet. 

Think of the scene of activity there will be 
along the line, not only of tins road, but of the 
Northern Pacific, when the two are completed to 
the lake, of an almost continuous train of cars, of 
elevators pouring grain from cars to ships and 
steamers. Think of the fleet that will soon whiten 
tliis great inland sea, bearing the products of the 
immense wheat-field eastward to the Atlantic 
cities, and bringing baclv the industries of the 
Eastern States ! 

It is only when I sit dcwn to think of the future, 
to measure it by the advancement already made, 
that I can comprehend anything of the coming 

DULUTH. 161 

greatness of the Northwest, — 20,000,000 busli- 
els of wheat this year ; 500,000 inhahitaiits in tlic 
State, yet scarcely a hunch'edth part of the area un- 
der cultivation. What will be the product ten years 
lience, when the population will reach 1,500,000 ? 
What will it he twenty years hence ? How shall 
we obtain any conception of the business to be 
done on these railways when Dakota, IVIontana, 
Washington, and Oregon, and all the vast region of 
the Assinniboine and the Saskatchawan, pour their 
products to the nearest water-carriage eastward? 
We are already beyond our depth, and are utterly 
unable to comprehend the probable development. 

The men wlio are buildin"' this railroad from St. 
Paul to Duluth have not failed to recognize this 
one fact, that by water Dulutli is as near as Chi- 
cago to the Atlantic cities. Wheat and flour can 
be transported as cheaply from Duluth to Buffalo 
or Ogdensburg as from, the southern end of Lake 
IVTichigan, while the distance from St. Paul to Lake 
Superior is only one hundred and forty miles 
against four hundred and eighty to Chicago. We 
laay conclude that the wheat of Minnesota can be 
curried fifteen or twenty cents a bushel cheaper 
by Duluth than by Lake Michigan, — a saving to 
the Eastern consumer of almost a dollar on each 
barrel of flour. Twenty cents on a Ijushel saved 
will add at least four dollars to the yearly product 
of an acre of land. 


The difference in freight on articles manufac- 
tured in tlie East and shipped to Minnesota will 
be still more marked, for grain in bulk is taken at 
low rates, while manufactured goods pay first-class. 
The completion of tliis railway will be a great 
blessing to the people of New England and of all 
the East, as well as to those of the Northwest. 
Anything that abridges distance and cheapens car- 
riage is so much absolute gain. I do not think 
that there is any public enter2)rise in the country 
that promises to produce more important results 
than the opening of this railway. 

An elevator company has been organized by 
several gentlemen in Boston and Philadelphia, and 
the necessary buildings are now going up. The 
wheat will be taken directly from the cars into 
the elevator, and discharged into the fleet of pro- 
pellers running to Cleveland, Buffalo, and Og- 
densburg, already aiTanged for this Lake Superior 

The region around the western end of the Lake 
has resources for the development of a varied in- 
dustry. Tlie wooded section extends from Central 
Wisconsin westward to the Leaf Hills beyond the 
j\[ississipi)i, and northward to Lake Winnipeg. 
This is to be the lumbering region of the North- 
west, for thxC manufacture of all agricultural im- 
plements, — reapers, mowers, harvesters, ploughs, 
drills, seed-sowers, wagons, carriages, carts, and fur- 

DULUTH. 163 

niture, — besides fiirnisliiiig lumber for fencing, for 
railroad and building purposes. 

Upon tlie St. Louis Eiver tlicrc is exhaustless 
water-power, — a descent of live hundred feet, 
with a stream always pouring an abundant flood. 
Its source is among the lakes of northern Minne- 
sota, which, being filled to overflowing by the rains 
of spring and early summer, become great reser- 
voirs. With such a supply of water there is no 
locality more favoraljly situated for the manufac- 
ture of every variety of domestic articles. Un- 
doubtedly the water-power will be largely employed 
for flouring-mills. The climate is admirably adapt- 
ed to the grinding of grain. The falls being so 
near the lake, there will be cheap transportation 
eastward to Bullalo, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New 
York, and Boston, while westward are the prairies, 
easily reached by the railroads. 

Tlie geological formation on the north side of 
Lake Superior is granite, but as w^e follow up the 
St Louis Eiver we come upon a ridge of slate. It 
forms the backbone of the divide between the lake 
and the Mississippi River. 

A quarry has been opened from which slates of 
a quality not inferior to those of Vermont are ob- 
tained, and so far as we know it is the only quarry 
in the Northwest. It is almost invaluable, for 
Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, western Minnesota, and 
Bakota have very little wood. Shingles are costly, 

164 . THE SEAT OF KAiriRE. 

l)ut here is abundant material to cover the roofs 
of the millions of houses that are yet to rise upon 
the prairies. 

This slate formation is thus referred to by 
Thomas Clark, State Geologist, in his Eeport to the 
Governor of Minnesota, dated December, 1804 
tpp. 29, 30) : — 

" These slates are found in all degrees of charac- 
ter, from the common indurated argillaceous fissile 
to the highly metamorphosed and even trappous 
type. The working of these slates demands the 
attention of builders ; their real value is economi- 
cally of more importance to the prairie and sparsely 
timbered valley of the Mississippi than any other 
deposit in the State's possession on the lake. The 
annual draught of hundreds of millions of lumber 
upon the pine forests of the St. Croix and Up23er 
]\Iississippi and tributaries will exhaust those re- 
gions before the close of this century. The trustees 
of our young Commonwealth are emphatically ad- 
monished to encourage and foster the working of 
these slates, and to bring them into use at the 
earliest time possible. A hundred square feet of 
dressed slates at the quarries of Vermont, New 
York, and Canada are worth from one and a half 
to two dollars ; the weight ranges from four to six 
liundred pounds, or about four squares to the ton. 
A ton of this roofing may be transported from the 
St. Louis quarry to the Mississippi, by railway, at 


three dollars, and thence by river to the landings as 
iVir down as St. Lonis or Cairo ; hut the article 
may be at all points in this State accessible by 
boats or railway, at an avera*.,^e cost of fifteen 
dollars per ton, or, at most, four dollars per square, 
— little, if any, more than pine shingles ; the 
former as good for a century as the latter is for a 
decade. The sup[)ly of these cliffs is literally in- 
exhaustible ; if one fourth of this slate area in the 
St. Louis Valley proves available, — and doubtless 
one half will, — it will yield one thousand millions 
of tons. 

" The demand for this slate at ten roofs to the 
square mile, and for forty thousand square miles, 
would be one million of tons, or one thousandth 
part of the material. The annual demand for slates 
in the Mississip])i Valley may be reasonably esti- 
mated at one hundred thousand tons, an exportable 
product of two hundred thousand dollars, besides 
the element of a permanent income to the railways 
and water-craft of the State of a half-million of 
dollars annually." 

To-day the country along the St. Louis is a wil- 
derness. Climb the hills, and look upon the scene, 
and think of the coining years. 

" Thou shiilt look 
Upon the greoii and rolling forest tops, 
And down into the secrets of the glens 
And streams, that with their bordering thickets strive 
To hide their windings. Thou shalt gaze at once, 

U\G ■ THE sp:at of EMrillK. 

Hero on white villages, and tilth and herds, 
And swarming roads, and there on solitudes 
That only Ix'ur the torrent, and the; wind, 
And eagle's shriek." 

Here, tliroiigh the bygone centuries, the Indians 
have set their nets and hooks witliout ever dream- 
ing of laying their hands upon the wealtli tliat 
Nature has ever in store for those who will labor 
for it. 

A few of the original lords of the forests are 
here, and they are the only idlers of this region. 
They lounge in tlie streets, s([\vdt in groups under 
the lee of buildings, and pick animated soinctliings 
from tlieir hair ! 

Their cliief appears in an old army coat with 
three stars on each shoulder, indicating that he 
ranks as a lieutenant-general among liis peoj)le. 
lie walks with dignity, although his old black 
stove-pipe hat is Ijadly squashed. The warriors 
follow him, wrapped in blankets, with eagle fc^ath- 
crs stuck into their long black luiir, and are as 
dignified as the chief Labor! not they. Pale- 
faces and squaws may work, they never. S(i[uaw- 
power is their liighest conception of a labor-saving 
machine. They have lished in the leaping torrent, 
but never thought of its being a giant that miglit 
be put to work for their benefit. 

It is evident that a great manufacturing industry 
must spring up in this region. At Minneapolis, 
St. Cloud, and here on tlie St. Louis, we find the 


three principal water-powers of the Northwest. 
The town ol' Tlioiii])S(jii, named in honor of ono 
of tlio ])i'()])rietors, INIr. I'Mj^ar A. Thompson of 
rhila(I(jl]>liia, has l)een hiid out at the falls, and he- 
ing situated on the line of the railroad, and so 
convenient to the lake, will ]M'ol)al)ly havo a rapid 
f^'rowth. The St. Paul and IMississippi Railroad, 
which winds up the northern hank of the river, 
crosses the stream at that point, and strikes south- 
ward throuj^h the forests to St. l*aul. 

The road, in addition to its j^rant of land, has re- 
ceived from the city of St. Paul S2()(),()()() in city 
honds, and this county of St. Louis at the head of 
the lake has given S loO,000 in county honds. 

The lands of this company are generally heavily 
timhered, — with pine, maple, ash, oak, and other 

The white pines of this region are almost as 
magnificent as those that formerly were the glory 
(if ]\Iaine and New Hampshire. Norway pines 
abound. Besides transporting the lumber from its 
own extensive tracts and the lands of the govern- 
ment adjoining, it will he the thoroughfare for an 
immense territory drained by the Snake, Kettle, 
St. Louis, and St. Croix liivers. 

The lands that hear such magnificent forest- 
trees are excellent for agriculture. Nowhere in 
the East have I ever seen ranker timothy and clo- 
ver than we saw on our journey from St. Paul. 



The company offer favorable terms to all set- 
tlers. Men from Maine and New Hampshire are 
already locating along the line, and setting up 
saw-mills. They were lumbermen in the East, 
and they prefer to follow tlie same business in the 
West, rather than to speed the plough for a living. 
I doubt not that the chances for making money 
are quite as good in the timbered region as on 
the prairies, for the lumber will pay for the land 
several times over, which, when put into grain or 
grass, yields enormously. 




THE sun was throwing liis morning beams upon 
the tree-tops of the Apostle Islands, as our 
little steamer, chartered for the occasion at Superior, 
rounded the promontory of the main-land, turned 
its prow southward, and glided into the harbor of 
Bayfield, on the southern shore of the lake. 

We had made the passage from Superior City 
during the night, and were on deck at daybreak to 
see the beauties of the islands, of which so much 
has been written by explorers and tourists. The 
scenery is not bold, but beautiful. Perhaps there 
is no place on the lake where more charming vistas 
open to the eye, or where there is such a succes- 
sion of entrancing views. 

The islands, eighteen in number, lie north of 
the promontory. They would appear as high hills, 
with rounded summits, crowned with a dense for- 
est growth, if the waters were drained off; for all 
around, between the islands and the mainland, are 
deep soundings. There is no harbor on the Atlan- 
tic coast, ncne in the world, more accessible than 
Bayfield, or more securely land-locked. It may 

be approached during the wildest storm, no matter 


which way the wind is blowing. When the north- 
easters raise a sea as terrible as that which some- 
times breaks upon Nahant, the captains of steamers 
, and schooners on Lake Superior run for the Apos- 
tle Islands. 

Bayfield is about sixty miles from Superior City, 
and is the first harbor where vessels can find shelter 
east of the head of the lake. The Apostle Islands 
seem to have been dumped into the lake for the 
benefit of the mighty tide of commerce which in 
the coming years is to float upon this inland sea. 

" It is," said our captain, " the only first-class 
harbor on the lake. It can be approached in ill 
weathers ; the shores are bold, the water deep, the 
anchorage excellent, and the ice leaves it almost 
two weeks earlier in spring than the other harbors 
at the head of the lake." 

The town of Bayfield is named for an officer of 
the Eoyal Engineers, who was employed years 
ago in surveying the lake. Hid work was A\'ell 
done, and till recently his charts have been relied 
on by the sailing-masters ; but the surveys of the 
United States Engineers, now approaching com- 
pletion, are more minute and accurate. 

The few houses that make up the town are beau- 
tifully located, on the western side of the bay. 
Madeline Island, the largest of the group, lies im- 
mediately in front, and s\elters the harbor and 
town from the northeast storms. 


The scream of the steamer's whistle rings sharply 
on the morning air, — while main-land and island, 
harbor and forest, repeat its echoes. It wakes up 
all the braves, squaws, and pa];)pooses in the wig- 
wams and log-houses of the Chippewa reservation, 
and all the inhabitants of Bayfield. The sun is just 
making his appearance when we run alongside the 
pier. It is an early hour for a dozen strangers, 
with sharp-set appetites, to make a morning call, — 
more than that, to drop in thus unceremoniously 
upon a private citizen for breakfast. 

Tliere being no hotel in the place, we are put to 
this strait. Possibly old Nokomis, who is cook- 
ing breakfast in a little iron pot with a big piece 
knocked out of its rim, who squats on the ground 
and picks out the most savory morsels with her 
fingers, would share her meal with us, but she 
does not invite us to breakfast, nor do we care to 
make ourselves at home in the wigwam. 

But there is rare hospitality awaiting us. A 
gentleman who lives in a large white house in the 
centre of the town, Captain Vaughn, tliough not 
through with his morning nap when we steam up 
the harbor, is wide awake in an instant. 

I wonder if there is another housewife in the 
United States who would provide such an ample 
repast as that which, in an incredibly short space 
of time, appeared on the table, prepared by Mrs. 
Vaughn, — such a tender steak, mealy potatoes. 


nice biscuit, delicious coffee, berries and sweet 
milk ; a table-cloth as white as the driven snow ; 
and the hostess the picture of health, presiding at 
the table with charming ease and grace, not at all 
disturbed by such an avalanche of company at 
such an hour ! 

Where the breakfast came from, or who cooked 
it so quickly, is an unexplained mystery; and 
then there was a basketful of lunch put up by 
somebody for us to devour while coasting about 
the bay, and the hostess the while found time to 
talk with us, to sit down to the parlor organ and 
charm us with music. So much for a Bayfield 
lady, born in Ohio, of stanch Yankee stock. 

Embarking on Captain Vaughn's little steam- 
yacht, we go dancing along the shores, now run- 
ning near the bluffs to examine the sandstone for- 
mation like that of the Hudson, or looking up to 
the tall pines waving their dark green plumes, or 
beholding the lumbermen felling the old monarchs 
and dragging them with stout teams to the Bay- 
field saw-mills. A run of about fifteen miles 
brings us to the city of Ashland, situated at the 
head of the bay. It makes quite an imposing ap- 
pearance when you are several miles distant, and 
upon landing you find that you have been imposed 
upon. Somebody came here years ago, laid out a 
town, surveyed the lots, cut out magnificent ave- 
nues through the forest, found men who believed 


that Ashland was to be a great city, who bought 
lots and built liouses ; but the crowd did nut 
come ; the few who came soon turned their backs 
upon the place, leaving all their improvements. 
One German family remains. Two pigs were in 
possession of a parlor in one deserted house, and a 
cow quietly chewing her cud in another. 

A mile east of Ashland is Bay City, another 
place planned by speculators, but which probably 
might be purchased at a discount. 

The country around Bayfield is in a primitive 
condition now, but the time is rapidly approaching 
for a change. By and by this will be a great resort 
for tourists and seekers after health. Nature has 
made it for a sanitarium. No mineral springs 
have been discovered warranted to cure all dis- 
eases, but nowhere in this Northwest has nature 
compounded purer air, distilled sweeter water, or 
painted lovelier landscapes. The time will come 
when the people of Chicago, Milwaukie, and other 
Western cities, seeking rest and recreation during 
the summer months, will flee to this harbor of re- 
pose. The fish are as numerous here, and as eager 
to bite the hook, as anywhere else on the lake, 
while the streams of the main-land abound with 
trout. By and by this old red sandstone will be 
transformed into elegant mansions overlooking the 
blue waters, and it would not be strange if com- 
merce reared a great mart around this harbor. 


The charter of tlie Northern Pacific Railroad ex- 
tends to this jjoiiit, and as the road would pass 
through heavily timbered lands, tlie company will 
find it for their interest to open the line, as it will 
also form a connecting link between the West and 
the iron region of Lake Superior. 

But whether a city rises here, whether a rail- 
road is constructed or not, let me say to any one 
who wants to pull out big trout that this is the 

An Indian who has been trying his luck shows 
a string of five-pounders, caught in one of the 
small streams entering the bay. There is no sport 
like trout-fishing. Think of stealing on tiptoe 
along the winding stream, dropping your hook into 
the gurgling waters, and feeling a moment later 
something tugging, turning, pulling, twisting, run- 
ning, now to the right, now to the left, up stream, 
down stream, making the thin cord spin, till your 
heart leaps into your throat through fear of its 
breaking, — fear giving place to hope, hope to 
triumph, when at length you land, a seven-pounder 
on the green and mossy bank ! You find such 
trout in the streams that empty into the lake 
opposite the Apostle Islands, — trout mottled with 
crimson and gold ! 

Bidding good by to our generous host and host- 
ess we take an eastward-bound steamer in the 
evening for a trip down the lake, stopping for an 


hour or two at Ontonagon, then steaming on, 
rounding Keweenaw Point during the night, and 
reaching IMarquette in tlie morning. 

Fishing-boats are dancing on the waves, yachts 
scudding along the shore, tourists rambling over 
the rocks at our riglit hand, throwing their lines, 
pulling up big trout, steamers and schooners are 
lying in the harbor, and tlirift, activity, and enter- 
prise is everywhere visible. 

We see an immense structure, resembling a rail- 
way bridge, built out into the harbor. It is several 
hundred feet in length, and twenty or more in 
height. A train of cars comes thundering down a 
grade, and out upon the bridge, while men run- 
ning from car to car knock out here and there a 
bolt or lift a catch, and we hear a rumbling and 
thundering, and feel the wharf tremble beneath 
our feet. It is not an earthquake ; they are only 
unloading iron ore from the cars into bins. 

A man by means of machinery raises a trap- 
door, and the black mass, starting with a rush, 
thunders once more as it plunges into the hold of 
a schooner. It requires but a few minutes to take 
in a cargo. And then, shaking out her sails, the 
schooner shapes her course eastward along the 
" Pictured Eocks " for the St. Mary's Canal, bound 
for Cleveland, Erie, or Chicago with her freight of 
crude ore to be smelted and rolled where coal is 
near at hand. 


The town is well laid out. Altlioiigh the busi- 
ness portion was destroyed by fire not many 
months ago, it has been rebuilt. There are 
elegant residences, churclies, school - houses, and 
stores. Men walk the streets as if they had a 
little more business on hand than they could well 
attend to. 

The men who used to frequent this region to 
trade with the Indians knew as early as 1830 that 
iron existed in the hills. But it was not till 1845, 
just a quarter of a century ago, that any attempt 
was made to test the ore. Dr. Jackson, of Boston, 
who visited Lake Superior in 1844, pronounced it 
of excellent quality. ' He informed Mr. Lyman 
Pray, of Charlestown, Mass., of its existence, and 
that the Indians reported a " mountain " of it not 
far from Marquette. Mr. Pray at once started on 
an exploring expedition, reached Lake Superior, 
obtained an Indian guide, penetrated the forest, 
and found the hills filled with ore. 

About the same time a gentleman named Ev- 
erett obtained half a ton of it, which the Indians 
and half -breeds carried on their backs to the 
Carp Eiver, and transported it to the lake in 

It was smelted, but was so different from that 
of Pennsylvania that the iron-masters shook their 
heads. Some declared that it was of no particular 
value, others that it could not be worked. 


The Pittsburg iron-men pronounced it worth- 
less. But Mr. Everett persevered, sent a small 
quantity to the Cold water forge, where it was 
smelted and rolled into a bar, from which he made 
a knife-blade, and was convinced that the metal 
A\'as superior in quality to any other deposit in the 

The Jackson Company was at once formed for 
mining in the iron and copper region. The cop- 
per fever was at its height, and the company was 
organized with a view of working both metals 
if thought advisable. A forge was erected on 
the Carp Eiver in 1847, making four blooms a 
day, each about four feet long and eight inches 

Another was built, in 1854, by a company from 
"Worcester, Mass., but so small was the produc- 
tion that in 1856 the shipment only reached five 
thousand tons. The superior qualities of the 
metal began to be known. Other companies were 
formed and improvements made ; railroads and 
docks were constructed, and the production has 
had a steady increase, till it has reached a high 

There are fourteen companies engaged in min- 
ing, — two have just commenced, while the others 
are well developed. The production of the twelve 
principal mines for the year 1868 will be seen from 
the following figures : — 

8* ^ 






Lake Superior, . 

New York, 

Lake Angeline, . 


Iron Mountain, . 


New England, . 


















The increase over the previous year is between 
forty and fifty thousand tons. The yield for 1869 
was about 650,000 tons. The entire production 
of all the mines up to the close of 1868 is 2,300,000 

Iron mining in this region is in its infancy; 
and yet the value of the metal produced last year 
amounts to eighteen million dollars. 

The cause for this rapid development is found 
in the fact that the Lake Superior ore makes the 
best iron in the world. Persistent efforts were 
made to cry it down, but those who were engaged 
in its production invited rigid tests. 

Its tenacity, in comparison with other quali- 
ties, will be seen by the following tabular state- 
ment : — 


Swedish, 59 

English Cable bolt, . . , . . 59 

Russian, 76 

Lake Superior, 89^ 

"When this fact was made known, railroad com- 
panies began to use Lake Superior iron for the 
construction of locomotives, car-wheels, and axles. 
Boiler builders wanted it. Tliose who tried it 
were eager to obtain more, and the result is seen 
in the rapidly increasing demand. 

The average cost of mining and delivering the 
ore in cars at the mines is estimated at about 
S2 per ton. It is shipped to Cleveland at a 
cost of $ 4.35, making $ 6.35 when laid on the 
dock in that city, where it is readily sold for $ 8, 
leaving a profit of about $ 1.65 per ton for the 
shipper. Perhaps, including insurance and inci- 
dentals, the profit may be reduced to about $ 1.25 
per ton. It will be seen that this is a very remu- 
nerative operation. 

About one hundred furnaces in Ohio and Penn- 
sylvania use Lake Superior ore almost exclusively, 
while others mix it with the ores of those re- 

A large amount is smelted at Lake Superior, 
where charcoal is used. The forests in the vicinity 
of the mines are rapidly disappearing. The wide- 
spreading sugar-maple, the hardy yellow birch, the 
feathery hackmatack and evergreen hemlock are 


alike tumbled into the coal-pit to supply fuel for 
the demands of commerce. 

The charcoal consumed per ton in smelting costs 
about eleven cents per bushel. For reducing a 
ton of the best ore about a hundred and ten 
bushels are required; for a ton of the poorest 
about a hundred and forty bushels, giving an 
average of $ 13 per ton. The cost of mining is, 
as has already been stated, about $ 2 per ton. To 
this must be added furnace-labor, interest on cap- 
ital employed, insurance, freight, commission, mak- 
ing the total cost about $ 35 a ton. As the iron 
commands the highest price in the market, it will 
be seen that the iron companies of Lake Superior 
are having an enormous income. 

Some men who purchased land at government 
price are on the high road to fortune. One man 
entered eighty acres of land, which now nets him 
tiventy-fottr thousand dollars per annum ! 

A railroad runs due west from Marquette, gain- 
ing by steep gradients the general level of the 
ridge between Superior and Michigan. It is called 
the Marquette and Ontonagon Eailroad, and will 
soon form an important link in the great iron high- 
way across the continent. It is about twenty 
miles from Marquette to the principal mines, which 
are also reached by rail from Escanaba, on Green 
Bay, a distance of about seventy miles. 

The ore is generally found in hills ranging from 


one to five hundred feet above the level of the 
surrounding country. The elevations can hardly 
be called mountains ; they are knolls rather. They 
are iron warts on Dame Nature's face. They are 
partially covered with earth, — the slew-forming 
deposits of the alluvial period. 

There are five varieties of ore. The most valua- 
ble is what is called the specular hematite, which 
chemically is known as a pure anhydrous sesqui- 
oxide. This ore yields about sixty-five per cent 
of pure iron. It is sometimes found in conjunc- 
tion with red quartz, and is then known as mixed 

The next in importance is a soft hematite, re- 
sembling the ores of Pennsylvania and Connecticut. 
It is quite porous, is more easily reduced than any 
other variety, and yields about fifty per cent of 
pure iron. 

The magnetic ores are found farther west than 
those already described. The Michigan, Washing- 
ton, Champion, and Edwards mines are all mag- 
netic. Sometimes the magnetic and specular lie 
side by side, and it is a puzzle to geologists and 
chemists alike to account for the difference be- 
tween them. As yet we are not able to under- 
stand by what subtle alchemy the change has been 

Another variety is called the silicious hematite, 
which is more difficult of reduction than the 


others. It varies in richness, and there is an un- 
limited supply. 

The nfth variety is a silicious hematite found 
with manganese, which, when mixed with other 
ores, produces an excellent quality of iron. Very 
little of this ore has been mined as yet, and its 
relative value is not ascertained. 

The best iron cannot be manufactured from one 
variety, but by mixing ores strength and ductility 
both are obtained. England senas to Eussia and 
Sweden for magnetic ores to mix with those pro- 
duced in Lancashire, for the manufacture of steel. 
The fires of Sheffield would soon go out if the 
manufactures in that town were dependent on 
English ore alone. The iron-masters there could 
not make steel good enough for a blacksmith's 
use, to say nothing of that needed for cutlery, if 
they were cut off" from foreign magnetic ores. 

Here, at Lake Superior, those necessary for the 
production of the best of steel lie side by side. 
A mixture of the hematite and magnetic gives a 
metal superior, in every respect, to any that Eng- 
land can produce. 

This one fact settles the question of the future of 
this region. It is to become one of the great iron- 
marts of the world. It is to give, by and by, the 
supremacy to America in the production of steel. 

It is already settled, by trial, that every grade 
of iron now in use in arts and manufactures can 


be produced here at Lake Superior by niixing the 
various ores. 

The miners are a hardy set of men, rough, un- 
couth, but enterprising. They live in small cot- 
tages, make excellent wages, drink whiskey, and 
rear large families. How happens it that in all 
new communities there is such an abundance of 
children ? They throng every doorway, and by 
every house we see them tumbling in the dirt. 
Nearly every woman has a child in her arms. 

"We cannot expect to see the refinements and 
luxuries of old communities in a country where 
the stumps have not yet been cleared from the 
streets, and where the spruces and hemlocks are 
still waving above the cottages of the settlers, 
but here are the elements of society. These hard- 
handed men are developing this region, earning a 
livelihood for themselves and enriching those who 
employ them. Towns are springing into exist- 
ence. We find Ishpeming rising out of a swamp. 
Imagine a spruce forest standing in a bog where 
the trees are so thick that there is hardly room 
enough for the lumbermen to swing their axes, the 
swamp being a stagnant pool of dai\k:-colored water 
covered with green slime ! 

An enterprising town-builder purchased this bog 
for a song, and has laid out a city. Here it is, 
— dwelling-houses and stores standing on posts 
driven into the mud, or resting on the stumps. 


He has filled up tlie streets with the ddhris from 
the mines. Frogs croak beneath the dwellings, or 
sun themselves on the sills. The town is not thus 
growing from the swamp because there is no solid 
land, but because the upland has exhaustless beds 
of iron ore beneath, too valuable to be de\oted to 
building purposes. 

•I have seen few localities so full of promise for 
the future, not this one little spot in the vicinity 
of Marquette, but the entire metallic region be- 
tween Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. 

Look at the locality ! It is half-way across the 
continent. Lake Michigan laves the southern, 
Superior the northern shore, while the St. Law- 
rence furnishes water-carriage to the Atlantic. 
A hundred and fifty miles of rail from Bayfield 
will give connection with the navigable waters of 
the Mississippi. Through this peninsula will yet 
lie the shortest route between the Atlantic and 
Pacific. Westward are the wheat-fields of the 
continent, to be peopled by an industrious and 
thriving community. There ' xjq point more cen- 
tral than this for easy transporUition. 

Here, just where the future millions can be 
easiest served, exhaustless deposits of the best ore 
in the world have been placed by a Divine hand 
for the use and welfare of the mighty race now 
begiiming to put forth its energies on this western 


Towns, cities, and villages are to arise amid these 
hills ; the forests and the hills themselves are to 
disappear. The product, now worth seventeen mil- 
lions of dollars per annum, erelong will be valued 
at a hundred millions. 

I think of the coming years when this place 
will be musical with the hum of machinery ; when 
the stillness of the summer day and the crisp air 
of winter will be broken by the songs of men at 
work amid flaming forges, or at the ringing anvil. 
From Marquette, and Bayfield, and Ontonagon, 
and Escanaba, from every harbor on these in- 
land seas, steamers and schooners, brigs and ships, 
will depart freighted with ore; hither they will 
come, bringing the products of the farm and work- 
shop. Heavily loaded trains will thunder over 
railroads, carrying to every quarter of our vast 
domain the metals manufactured from the mines 
of Lake Superior. 

We have but to think of the capabilities of this 
region, its extent and area, the increase of popula- 
tion, the development of resources, the construc- 
tion of railways, the growth of citie? and towns ; 
we have only to grasp the probabilities of the fu- 
ture, to discern the dawning commercial greatness 
of this section of our country. 




" T HAVE called to have a little talk about the 

i West, and think that I should like a farm in 
Minnesota or in the Red River country," said a 
gentleman not long since, who introduced himself 
as Mr. Blotter, and who said he was " clerking it." 

" I want to go out West and raise stock," said 
another gentleman who stopped me on the street. 

" Where would you advise a fellow to go who 
hasn't much money, but who is n't afraid to work ?" 
said a stout young man from Maine. 

"I am a machinist, and want to try my luck 
out West," said another young man hailing from 
a manufacturing town in Massachusetts. 

" I am manufacturing chairs, and want to know 
if there is a place out West where I can build up 
a good business," said another. 

Many other gentlemen, either in person or by 
letter, have asked for specific information. 

It is not to be expected that I can point out the 
exact locality suited to each individual, or with 
which they would be suited, but for the benefit 
of all concerned I give the substance of an eve- 
ning's talk with Mr. Blotter. 


" I want a farm, I am tired of the city," said he. 

Well, sir, you can be accommodated. The 
United States government has several million 
acres of land, — at least 30,000,000 in Minnesota, 
to say nothing of Dakota and the region beyond, 
— and you can help yourself to a farm out of any 
unoccupied territory. The Homestead Law of 1862 
gives a hundred and sixty acres, free of cost, to 
actual settlers, whether foreign or native, male or 
female, over twenty-one years old, or to minors 
having served fourteen days in the army. For- 
eigners must declare their intention to become 
citizens. Under the present Pre-emption Law 
settlers often live on their claims many years 
before they are called on to pay the S 1.25 per 
acre, — the land in the mean time having risen to 
$10 or $ 12 per acre. A recent decision gives 
single women the right to pre-empt. Five years' 
residence on the land is required by the Home- 
stead Law, and it is not liable to any debts con- 
tracted before the issuing of the patent. 

The State of Minnesota has a liberal law relative 
to the exemption of real estate from execution. 
A homestead of eighty acres, or one lot and house, 
is exempt ; also, five hundred dollars' worth of 
furniture, besides tools, bed and bedding, sewing- 
machine, three cows, ten hogs, twenty sheep, a 
span of horses, or one horse and one yoke of oxen, 
twelve months' provisions for family and stock, one 


wagon, two ploughs, tools of a mechanic, library of 
a professional man, five hundred dollars* worth of 
stock if a trader, and various other articles. 

You will find several railroad companies ready 
to sell you eighty, or a hundred and sixty, or 
six Inmdred and forty acres in a body, at reason- 
able rates, giving you accommodating terms. 

" "Would you take a homestead from government, 
or would you buy lands along the line of a rail- 
road ? " 

That is for you to say. If you take a homestead 
it will necessarily be beyond the ten-mile limit of 
the land granted to the road, where the advance 
in value will not keep pace with lands nearer the 
line. You will find government lands near some 
of the railroads, which you can purchase for $ 2.50 
per acre, cash down. The railroad companies 
will charge you from $ 2 to $ 10, according to 
location, but will give you time for payment. 

" What are their terms ? " 

The St. Paul and Pacific Eailroad, the main line 
of which is to be completed to the Eed Eiver this 
year, and which owns the branch line running from 
St. Paul up the east bank of the Mississippi to St. 
Cloud, have a million acres of prairie, meadow, 
and timber lands which they will sell in tracts of 
forty acres or more, and make the terms easy. Sup- 
pose you were to buy eighty acres at $ 8 per acre, 
that would give you a snug farm for $ 640. If 



you can pay cash down, they will make it S 7 per 
acre, — $ 80 saved at the outset ; but if you have 
only a few dollars in your pocket they will let you 
pay a year's interest at seven per cent to begin 
with, and the principal and interest in ten annual 
payments. The figures would then run in this 
way : — 

■*-'^6**V ' 



1*11 «U^ vj p^x < 


V v/^iv-'. 




1st year, . . $44.80 

2d " . 

. 40.32 . . 

. $ 64.00 . 

. $ 104.32 

3d " , 

35.84 . , 

. . 64.00 . . 

. 99.84 

4th " 

31.36 . 

. . 64.00 . . 

. 95.36 

5th " 

. 26.88 . 

. . 64.00 . . 

. 90.88 

6th " . 

22.40 . . 

. 64.00 . . 

. 86.40 

7th " . 

17.92 . . 

. 64.00 . . 

. 81.92 

8th " 

. 13.44 . 

. 64.00 . . 

. 77.44 

9th " 

. 8.96 . 

. . 64.00 . , 

. 72.90 

10th " 

. 4.48 . 

. . 64.00 . . 

. 68.48 

nth " 

. . 64.00 . . 

. 64.00 

" The second y^r will be the hardest," said Mr. 
Blotter, " for I shall have to fence my farm, build 
a cabin, and purchase stock and tools. Is there 
fencing material near ? " 

That depends upon where you locate. If you 
are near the line of the railway, you can have it 
brought by cars. If you locate near the " Big 
Woods" on the main line west of Minneapolis, 
you will have timber near at hand. Numerous 
saw-mills are being erected, some driven by water 


and others by steam. The ti inhered lands of the 
company are already held at hif,di rates, — from $7 
to SIO per acre. The country beyond the "Big" 
AVoods" is all prairie, with no timber except a few 
trees along the streams. It is filling up so rapidly 
with settlers that wood-lands are in great demand, 
for when cleared tliey are just as valuable as the 
prairie for farming purposes. 

Many settlers who took up homesteads before 
the railroad was surveyed now find themselves in 
good circumstances, especially if they are near a 
station. In many places near towns, land which 
a year ago could have been had for $2.50 per acre 
is worth $ 20 to-day. 

" Is the land in the Mississippi Yalley above St. 
Paul any better than that of the prairies ? " 

Perhaps you have a mistaken idea in regard to 
the Mississippi Valley. There are no bottom-lands 
on the Upper Mississippi. The prairie borders upon 
the river. You will find the latid on the east side 
better adapted to grazing than for raising wheat 
The company do not hold their lands along the 
branch at so high a figure as on the main line. 
Some of my Minnesota friends say that stock-grow- 
ing on the light lands east of the Mississippi is 
quite as profitable as raising wheat. Cattle, sheep, 
and horses transport themselves to market, but you 
must draw your grain. 

If you are going into stock-raismg, you can af- 


ford to be at a greater distance from a railroad sta- 
tion than tlie man wlio raises wheat. It would un- 
doubtedly be fur the interest of the company to sell 
you their outlying lands along the branch line at a 
low figure, for it would enhance the value of those 
nearer the road. You will find St. Cloud and Ano- 
ka thriving places, which, with St. Paul and j\Iin- 
neapolis, will give a good home demand for beef 
and mutton, to say nothing of the facilities for 
reaching Eastern markets by the railroads and lakes. 

" Do the people of Minnesota use fertilizers ? " 

No ; they allow the manure to accumulate 
around their stables, or else dump it into the river 
to get rid of it ! 

They sow wheat on the same field year after 
year, and return nothing to the ground. They 
even burn the straw, and there can be but one 
result coming from such a process, — exhaustion 
of the soil, — poor, worn-out farms by and by. 

The farmers of the AVest are cruel towards 
Mother Earth. She freely bestows her riches, and 
then, not satisfied with her gifts, they plunder her. 
Men everywhere are shouting for an eight-hour 
law ; they must have rest, time for recreation and 
improvement of body and mind; but they give the 
soil no time for recuperation. Men expect to be 
paid for their labors, but they make no payment 
to the kind mother who feeds them; they make 
her work and live on nothing. Farming, as now 


carried on in the West and Northwest, is down- 
riglit robbery and pUmder, and notliin*^ else. If 
the present exhaustive system is kept up, the time 
will come wlien the wheat-fields of Minnesota, in- 
stead of producing twenty-tive bushels to the acre 
ujion an average throughout the State, will not 
yield ten, which is the product in Ohio ; and yet, 
with a systematic rotation of crops and ai)plication 
of fertilizers, the present marvellcjus richness of 
the- soil can be maintained forever. 

" Do the tame grasses flourish ? " 

Splendidly ; I never saw finer fields of timothy 
than along the line of the St. l*aul and Pacific 
Railroad, west of Minneapolis. White clover 
seems to spring up of its own accord. I remem- 
ber that I saw it growing luxuriantly along a path- 
way in the Eed River Valley, and by the side of 
the military road leading througli the woods to 
Lake Superior. Hay is very abundant, and ex- 
ceedingly cheap in Minnesota. I doubt if there 
is a State in the Union that has a greater breadtli 
of first-class grass-lands. Hon. Thomas Clarke, 
Assistant State Geologist, estimates the area of 
meadow-lands between the St. Croix and the IMis- 
sissippi, and south of Sandy Lake, at a million 
acres. He says : " Some of these are very exten- 
sive, and bear a luxuriant growth of grass, often 
five or six feet in height. It is coarse, but sweet, 
and is said to make excellent hay." 


I passed through some of those meadows, and 
can speak from personal observation. I saw many 
acres that would yield two tons to the acre. The 
grasses are native, Ihit-leaved, foul-meadow and 
blue-joint, just such as I used to swing a scythe 
through years ago in a meadow in New Hamp- 
shire which furnislied a fair quality of hay. The 
time will come when those lands will be valuable, 
although they are not held very high at present. 
A few years ago the Kankakee swamps in Illinois 
and Indiana were valueless, but now they yield 
many thousand tons of hay, and are rising in the 

" How about fruit ? I don't want to go where 
I cannot raise fruit." : 

Those native to the soil are strawberries, rasp- 
berries, blackberries, gooseberries, huckleberries, 
cherries, and plums. I picked all of these upon 
the prairies and along the streams while there. 
The wild plum is very abundant, and in the fall 
of the year you will see thousands of bushels in 
the markets at St. Paul and Minneapolis. They 
make an excellent sauce or preserve. 

Minnesota may be called the Cranberry State. 
Many farmers make more money from their cran- 
berry-meadows than from their wheat-fields. The 
marshes in the northern section of tlie State are 
covered with vines, and the lands along the St. 
Croix yield abundantly. 


Mr, Clarke, the geologist, says : '' There are 
256,000 acres of cranberry- marsli in the triangle 
between the St. Croix and Mississippi, and bound- 
ed north by the St. Louis and Prairie Pavers ! The 
high price paid for this delicious fruit makes its 
cultivation very profitable in Minnesota, as well 
as in New Jersey and on Cape Cod." 
. "Can apples be raised? I am fond of them, 
and should consider it a drawback if I could not 
have an apple-orchard," said the persistent Mr. 


I understand that till wdthin a year or two the 
prospect for apples was not very encouraging. The 
first orchards were from Illinois nurseries, and it 
was not till native stocks were started that suc- 
cess attended the fruit-growers' efforts; but now 
they have orchards as thrifty and bountiful as any 
in the country. At the last State Fair held at 
Piochester, one fruit-grower had fifty bushels on 
exhibition, and two hundred more at home. It 
was estimated that the yield in Winona County 
last year was thirty thousand bushels.* 

The St. Paul Press, noticing the display of fruits 
at the Pamsay and Hennipen County Fair, says : 
" These two fairs have set at rest the long-mooted 

* These and many other facts relating to Minnesota are ob- 
tained from "Minnesota as it is in 1870," by J. W. McCluiig, 
of St. Paul, —an exceedingly valuable work, crammed with iu- 


question, whether Minnesota is an apple-growing 
State. Over two hundred varieties of the apple, 
exclusive of the crab species, were exhibited at 
Minneapolis, and a large number at St. Paul, of 
the finest development and flavor, and this fact 
will give an immense impetus to fruit-growing in 
our State." ■ /t, 

The following varieties were exhibited at the 
last meeting of the Fruit-Growers' Association, of 
AVinona County : The Duchess of Oldenburg, Tit- 
ter's Large, Early Red, Sweet June, Perry Rus- 
set, Fall Stripe, Keswick Codlin, Red Astracan, 
Plum Cider, Phoenix, Wagner, Ben Davis, German 
Bough, Carolina Red June, Bailey Sweet, St. 
Lawrence, Sops of Wine, Seek-no-further, Famuse, 
Price Sweet, Pomme Grise, Tompkins County 
King, Northern Spy, Golden Russet, Sweet Pear, 
Yellow Ingestrie, Yellow Bellflower, Lady Finger, 
Piaule's Jannet, Kirkbridge White, Janiton, Dume- 
low. Winter Wine Sap, Chronicle, Fall Wine Sap, 
Eosseau, Colvert, Benoni, Red Romanite. 

Many of the above are raised in New England, 
so that those people who may cut loose from the 
East need not be apprehensive that they are bid- 
ding good by forever to the favorite fruits that 
have been a comfort as well as a luxury in their 
former homes. 

" I take it that grapes do not grow there ; it 
must be too far north," said my visitor. 



On the contrary, they are indigenous. You find 
wild grapes along the streams, and in the gardens 
around St. Paul and Minneapolis you will see 
many of the cultivated varieties bearing magnifi- 
cent clusters on the luxuriant vines. 

" How about corn, rye, oats, and other grains ; 
can they be raised with profit ? " 

The following figures, taken from tha official re- 
port made to the last legislature of the products 
for 1869, will show the capabilities of the soil : — 

Wheat, . 
Corn, . 
Barley, . 
Rye, . 
Hay, . 
Wool, . 
Cheese, . 
Maple Sugar, 
Flax, . 

18,500,000 bushels, 
6,125,000 " . 
. 28,000 
. 430,000 tons, . 
390,000 pounds. 






Average per Acre. 
. 18^ 

. 43 
. 30.6 

. 16 



80,000 gallons syrup. 
300,000 pounds. 
. 170,000 " 

From this it would seem that the State is des- 
tined to be one of the most productive in the 

*' Have they good schools out there ? " 
Just as good as in New England. Two sections 
of land are set aside for the common-school fund. 


The entire amount of school lands in the State 
will be three million acres. 

These are sold at the rate of five dollars per 
acre, and the money invested in State or govern- 
ment bonds. Governor Marshall, in his last mes- 
sage, estimated the sum ultimately to be derived 
from the lands at sixteen million dollars. A 
school tax of two mills on the dollar is levied, 
which, with the interest from the fund, gives a 
hberal amount for education. 

"At what season of the year ought a man to 
go West ? " 

That depends very much upon what you intend 
to do. If you are going to farming, and intend to 
settle upon the prairies, you must be there in 
season to break up your ground in July. If the 
sod is turned when the grass is full of juices, it 
decays quickly, and your ground will be in good 
condition for next year's ploughing. If you go into 
the timbered lands along the Lake Superior and 
Mississippi Eailroad, or along that of the North- 
ern Pacific, you can go any time ; but men having 
families will do well to go in advance and select 
their future home, and make some preparations 
before cutting loose from the old one. 

" Which is the best way to go ? " 

You will find either of the great trunk rail- 
roads leading westward comfortable routes, and 
their rates of fare do not greatly vary. 


" Do you think that the State will have a rapid 
development ? " 

If the past is any criterion for the future, its 
growth will be unparalleled. Twenty years only 
have passed since it was organized as a Territory. 
The population in 1850 was 5,330 ; in 1860 it was 
172,022 ; in 1865, by the State census, 250,099. 
The census of 1870 will give more than half a 
million. The tide of emigration is stronger at the 
present time than it ever has been before, and 
the construction of the various railroads, the lib- 
eral policy of the State, its munificent school- 
fund, the richness of the lands, the ibundance of 
pure, fresh water, the delightful climate, the situ- 
ation of tlie State in connection with the trans- 
continental line of railway, altogether will give 
Minnesota rapid advancemelit. Of the North- 
west as of a pumpkin-vine during the hot days 
and warm nights of midsummer, we may say that 
we can almost see it grow ! Look at the increase 
of wealth as represented by real and personal es- 
tates : — 

1850 .... $ 806,437 

1855 . . . . . 10,424,157 

1860 .... 36,753,408 

1865 45,127,318 

1868 .... 75,795,366 

From the report of the Assistant Secretary of 
State made to the Legislature in January, 1870, 
we have the following facts : — 


Total tilled acres, 1,G90,000 

Value of real estate, .... $ 120,000,000 

" " personal property, . . . 05,000,000 

" " live stock, .... 15,561,887 

" " agricultural productions, . . 25,000,000 

" " annual manufactures, . . 11,000,000 

Amount of school-fund, .... 2,371,199 

Not only is Minnesota to have a rapid develop- 
ment, but Dakota as well. Civilization is advan- 
cing up the Missouri. Emigrants are moving on 
through Yankton and taldng possession of the 
rich lands of that section, and the present year 
will see the more northern tide pouring into the 
Red Eiver Valley, which Professor Hind called 
the Paradise of the Northwest. 

" How much will it cost me to reach Minnesota, 
and get started on a farm ? " 

The fare from Boston to St. Paul will be from 
$ 35 to $ 40. If you go into the timbered regions, 
you will have lumber enough near at hand to 
build your house, and it will take a great many 
sturdy strokes to get rid of the oaks and pines. 
If you go upon the prairies, you will have to ob- 
tain lumber from a distance. The prices at Minne- 
apolis are all the way from $ 12 to $45 per thou- 
sand, according to quality. Shingles cost from 
$3.50 to S 4.50. 

Most of the farmers begin with a very small 
house, containing two or three rooms. They do 
not start with much furniture. We who are ac- 


customed to hot and cold water, bath-room, and 
all the modern conveniences of houses in the 
city, might think it rather hard at lirst to use a 
tin wash-basin on a bench out-doors, and ladies 
might find it rather awkward to go up to their 
chamber on a ladder; but we can accommodate 
ourselves to almost anything, especially when we 
are working towards independence. Settlers start 
with small houses, for a good deal of lumber is 
required for fencing. A fence around forty acres 
requires 1,700 rails, 550 posts, and a keg of large 
nails. The farmers do not dig holes, but sharpen 
the lower ends of the posts and drive them down 
with a beetle. Two men by this process will fence 
in forty acres in a very short time. Such fences 
are for temporary use, but will stand for several 
years, — till the settler has made headway enough 
to replace them with others more substantial. 
You will want horses and oxen. A span of good 
farm horses will cost $ 250 ; a yoke of good oxen, 
$ 125. Cows are worth from $ 20 to $ 50. 

Carpenters, masons, and mechanics command 
high prices, — from $2 to $4.50 per day. Farm 
laborers can be hired for $ 20 to $ 25 per month. 

"What section of the Northwest is advancing 
most rapidly ? " 

The southern half of Minnesota. As yet there 
are no settlements in the northern counties. Draw 
a line from Duluth to Fort Abercrombie, and 


you will have almost tlie entire population south 
of that line. A few families are living in Otter- 
Tail County, north of that line, and there are a 
few more in the Eed Rive^ Valley. 

Two years hence there will probably be many 
thousand inhabitants in the northern counties ; 
the fertility of the Eed Eiver lands and the 
construction of two railroads cannot fail of at- 
tracting settlers in that direction. There is far 
more first quality of agricultural land now held 
by government in the northwestern counties than 
in any other section of the State. The land-office 
for that region is at Alexandria in Douglas County. 
The vacant land subject to pre-emption as per 
share in the eleven counties composing the dis- 
trict amounts to 10,359,000 acres, nearly the same 
area as Massachusetts and New Hampshire to- 
gether. Take a glance at the counties. 

Douglas. — Four years ago it did not contain a 
single inhabitant, but now it has a population 
of about 5,000 ! The county has an area of twenty 
townships, 460,000 acres, and about 250,000 are 
still held by government. 

Grant. — It lies west of Douglas. We passed 
through it on our way to the Eed Eiver. The main 
line of the St. Paul and Pacific Eailroad will run 
through the southwestern township this year. 
There are 295,000 acres still vacant. 

Otter- Tail. — We travelled through this county 



on our return from Dakota, and were serenaded "by 
the Germans in our camp on the bank of Eush 
Lake. It contains 1,288,000 acres, of which 
850,000 are held by government. This county 
is abundantly supplied with timber, — pine as 
well as oak, and other of the hard woods. There 
are numerous lakes and ponds, and several fine 
mill-sites. The soil is excellent. The lakes abound 
with whitefish. In 1868 the population was 800. 
Now it may be set down at 2,000. 

Wilkin. — This county is on the Eed Eiver. 
It was once called Andy Johnson, but now bears 
the name of Wilkin. There you may take your 
choice of 650,000 acres of fertile lands. You can 
find timber on the streams, or you may float it 
down from Otter-Tail. The St. Paul and Pacific 
Eailroad wiU be constructed through the county 
during the year 1870. 

Clay. — North of Wilkin on the Eed Eiver is 
Clay County, containing 650,000 acres of govern- 
ment land, all open to settlement. The Northern 
Pacific Eailroad wiU probably strike the Eed Eiver 
somewhere in this county. The distance from 
Duluth will be two hundred and twenty-five miles, 
and the settler there will be as near market as the 
people of central Illinois or eastern Iowa. 

Polk. — The next county north contains 2,480,000 
acres, unsurpassed for fertility, well watered by the 
Eed, the Wild Eice, Marsh, Sand HilJ, and Eed 


Lake Elvers. The county is half as large as !Mas- 
sachusetts, and is as capable of sustaining a dense 
population as the kingdom of Belgium or the 
valley of the Ganges. The southern half will be 
accommodated by the Northern Pacific Eailroad. 
Salt springs abound on the Wild Rice River, and 
the State has reserved 23,000 acres of the saline 

Pemhina. — The northwestern county of the State 
contains 2,263,000 acres, all held by government, 

Becker. — This county lies north of Otter-Tail. 
We passed through it on our way from the Red 
River to the head- waters of the Buffalo. (Descrip- 
tion, p. 113.) It is a region surpassingly beautiful. 
The Northern Pacific Railroad will pass through 
it, and there you may find 435,000 acres of roll- 
ing prairie and timbered hills. Probal3ly there 
are not fifty settlers in the county. A large por- 
tion of these northwestern counties are unsur- 
veyed, but that will not debar you from pre-empt- 
ing a homestead. 

"How about the southwestern section of the 
State ? " asked my visitor. 

I cannot speak from, personal observation be- 
yond Blue Earth County, where the Minnesota 
River crooks its elbow and turns northeast ; but 
from what I have learned I have reason to believe 
that the lands there are just as fertile as those 
already settled nearer the Mississippi, and they 


will be made available by the railroad now under 
construction from St. Paul to Sioux City. 

" Can a man with five hundred dollars make a 
beginning out there with a reasonable prospect of 
success ? " 

Yes, provided he has good pluck, and is willing 
to work hard and to wait. If he can command 
one thousand dollars, he can do a great deal better 
than he can with half that sum. 

If you were to go out sixty miles beyond St. 
Paul to Darsel, on the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad 
you would see a farm worked by seven sisters. 
The oldest girl is about twenty-five, the youngest 
fifteen. They lived in Ohio, but their father and 
mother were invalids, and for their benefit came to 
Minnesota in April, 1867, and secured a hundred 
and sixty acres of land under the Homestead Law. 
The neighbors turned out and helped them build a 
log-house, and the girls went to work on the farm. 
Last year (1869) they had f n-ty acres under culti- 
vation, and sold 900 bvrshels of potatoes, 500 bush- 
els of corn, 200 of wheat, 250 of turnips, 200 of 
beets, besides 1,100 cabbage-heads, and about two 
hundred dollars' worth of other garden products. 
They hired men to split rails for fencing, and also 
to plough the land ; but all the other work has 
been done by the girls, who are hale and hearty, 
and find time to read the weekly papers and maga- 
zines. The mother of these girls made the follow- 


ing remark to a gentleman who visited the farm : 
"The girls are not fond of the hard work they 
have had to do to get the farm started, but they 
are not ashamed of it. We were too poor to keep 
together, and live in a town. AVe could not make 
a living there, but here we have become comfort- 
able and independent. We tried to give tlie girls 
a good education, and they all read and write, and 
lind a little spare time to read books and papers." 

These plucky girls have set a good example to 
young men who want to get on in the world. 

Perhaps I am too enthusiastic over the future 
prospects of the region between Lake Superior and 
the Pacific but having travelled through Kansas, 
Nebraska, Utah, and Nevada, I have had an 
opportunity to contrast the capabilities of the two 
sections. Kansas has magnificent prairies, and so 
has Nebraska, but there are no sparkling ponds, no 
wood-fringed lakes, no gurgling brooks abounding 
with trout. The great want of those States is 
water. The soil is exceedingly fertile, even in 
Utah and Nevada, though white with powdered 
alkali, but they are valueless for want of moisture. 
In marked contrast to all this is the great domain 
of the Northwest. For a few years the tide of 
emigration will flow, as it is flowing now, into the 
central States ; but when the lands there along the 
rivers and streams are all taken up, the great river 
of human life, setting towards the Pacific, will be 

206 ■ THE SEAT or empire. 

turned up tlie Missouri, the Assinniboine, and the 
Saskatchawan. The climate, the resources of the 
country, the capabilities for a varied industry, and 
the configuration of the continent, alike indicate it. 

I am not sure that Mr. Blotter accepted all this, 
but he has gone to Minnesota with his wife, turn- 
ing his back on a dry-goods counting-house to 
obtain a home on the prairies. 




THE statesman, the political economist, or any 
man who wishes to cast the horoscope of 
the future of this country, must take into con- 
•dderation the great lakes, and their connection 
witli the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Colum- 
bia Rivers, and those portions of the continent 
drained by these water-ways. 

Communities do not grow by chance, but by 
the operation of physical laws. Position, climate, 
mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, arable lands, coal, 
wood, iron, silver, and gold are predestinating 
forces in a nation's history, decreeing occupation, 
character, power, and influence. 

Lakes and navigable streams are natural high- 
ways for trade and traffic ; valleys are natural 
avenues ; mountains are toll-gates set up by na- 
tui... He who passes over them must pay down 
in sweat and labor. 

Humboldt discussed the question a third ^ a 
Cbiitury ago. " The natural highways of nation^ " 
said he, " will usually be along the great water- 

It impressed me deeply, as long ago as 1846, 


when the present enormous railway system of the 
continent had hardly begun to be developed. 
S^^reading out a map of the Western Hemisphere, I 
then saw that from Cape Horn to Behring's Strait 
there was only one river-system that could be 
made available to commerce on the Pacific coast. 
In South America there is not a stream as large as 
the Merrimac flowing into the Pacific. The waves 
of the ocean break everywhere against the rocky 
wall of the Andes. 

In North America the Colorado rises on the 
pinnacle of the continent, but it flows through a 
country upheaved by volcanic fires during the 
primeval years. Its chasms and canons are the 
most stupendous on the globe. The course of the 
stream is southwest to the Gulf of California, out 
of the line of direction for commerce. 

The only other great stream of the Pacific coast 
is the Columbia, whose head-Avaters are in a line 
with those of the Missouri, the Mississippi, the 
Ked Eiver of the North, and Lake Superior. 

This one feature of the physical geography of 
the continent was sufficient to show me that the 
most feasible route for a great continental high- 
way between the Atlantic and the Pacific mu^t 
be from Lake Superior to the valley of the Co- 

In childhood I had read the travels of Lewis and 
Clark over and over again, till I could almost re- 


peat the entire volume, and, remembering their 
glowing accounts of the country, — the fertility of 
the valley of the Yellowstone, ""he easy passage 
from tlie Jefferson fork of the Missouri to the 
Columbia, and tlie mildness of the winters on the 
Western slope, the conviction was deepened that 
the best route for a railway from the lakes to the 
Pacific would be through one of the passes of the 
Eocky Mountains at the head-waters of the Mis- 

Doubtless, many others observant of the physi- 
cal geography of the continent had arrived at the 
same natural conclusion. Seven years later tlie 
government surveys were made along several of 
the parallels, that from Lake Superior to the Co- 
lumbia being under the direction of Governor I. I. 
Stevens. Jeff' Davis was then Secretary of War, 
and his report set forth the northern route as 
being virtually impracticable. It was, according 
to his representation, incapable of sustaining popu- 
lation. A careful study of Governor Stevens's 
Eeport, and a comparison with the reports along 
tlie more southern lines, showed that the Secretary 
of War had deliberately falsified the statements 
of Governor Stevens and his assistants. While 
the surveys were being made, Mr. Edwin F. John- 
son, of Middletown, Conn., the present chief engi- 
neer of the Pacific Railroad, published a pamphlet 
which set forth in a clear and forcible manner 


the natural advantages of the route hy the !Mis- 

In 1856 the British govern ment sent out an 
exploring expedition under Captain Palliser, whose 
report upon the attractions of British America, 
the richness of the soil, tlie ease with which a 
road could be constructed to the Pacific through 
British territory, created great interest in Parlia- 

" The accomplishment of such a scheme," said 
Mr. Eoebuck, "would unite England with Van- 
couver Island and with China, and they would be 
enabled widely to extend the civilization of Eng- 
land, and he would boldly assert that the civiliza- 
tion of England was greater than that of America." 

" Already," said the Colonial Secretary, Lord 
Lytton, better known to American readers as Bul- 
wer, " in the large territory which extends west of 
the Eocky Mountains, from the American frontier 
and up to the skirts of the Kussian dominions, 
we are laying the foundations of what may become 
hereafter a magnificent abode of the human race." 

There was a tone about these speeches that 
stirred my blood, and I prepared a pamphlet for 
circulation entitled " The Great Commercial Prize," 
which was published in 1858. It was a plea for 
the immediate construction of a railway up the 
valley of the Missouri, and down the Columbia to 
Puget Sound, over the natural highway, giving 


facts and figures in regard to its feasibility ; but T 
was laughed at for my pains, and set down as a 
visionary by tlie press. 

It is gratifying to have our good dreams come 
to pass. That which was a dream of mine in r^46 
is in process of fulfilment in 1870. The disco\ery 
of gold in California and the building up of a 
great city demanded the construction of a railroad 
to San Francisco, which was chartered in 1862, and 
which has been constructed with unparalleled ra- 
pidity, and is of incalculable service to the nation. 

The charter of the Northern Pacific was granted 
in 1864, and approved by President Lincoln on the 
2d of July of that year. Government granted 
no subsidy of bonds, Imt gave ten alternate sec- 
tions per mile 'on each "ide of the road in the 
States and twenty on each side of the line in the 
Territories through which it might pass. 

Though the franchise was accompanied by this 
liberal land-grant, it has been found impossible to 
undertake a. work of such magnitude till the pres- 
ent time. Nearly every individual named as cor- 
porators in the charter, with the exception of Gov- 
ernor J. G. Smith, its present President, Judge 
E. D. Eice, the Vice-President, and a few others, 
abandoned it under the many difficulties and dis- 
couragements that beset the enterprise. The few 
gentlemen who held on studied the geograpliy of 
the country, and their faith in the future of the 


Northwest was strengthened. A year ago they were 
fortunate enough to find other men as enthusiastic 
as themselves over the resources and capabilities of 
the region between Lake Superior and the Pacific, 
• — Messrs. Jay Cooke & Co., the well-known bank- 
ers of Philadelphia, whose names are indissolubly 
connected with the history of the country as its 
successful financial agents at a time when the 
needs of the nation were greatest ; Messrs. Edgar 
Thompson and Thomas A. Scott, of the Pennsyl- 
vania Central Eailroad ; Mr. G. W. Cass, of the 
Pittsburg and Fort Wayne ; Mr. B. P. Cheney, of 
Wells, Fargo, & Co. ; Mr. William B. Ogden, of the 
Chicago and Northwestern lload ; Mr. Stinson, of 
Chicago ; and other gentlemen, most of whom are 
practical railroad men of large experience and far- 
reaching views. 

Mr, Cooke became the financial agent of the 
company, and from that hour the advancement of 
the enterprise may be dated. Tt required but a 
few days to raise a subscription of $5,600,000 
among the capitalists of the country to insure the 
building of the road from Lake Superior to the Eed 
River, to which place it is now under construction. 
The year 1871 will probably see it constructed to 
the Missouri River, thus opening easy communi- 
cation with Montana. The gentlemen who have 
taken hold of the work contemplate its completion 
to the Pacific in three years. 


The line laid down upon tlie accompanying map 
only indicates the general direction of the road. 
It is the intention of the company to find the best 
route across the continent, — direct in course, with 
easy grades, — and this can only be ascertained 
by a thorough exploration of the valley of the 
Yellowstone, the passes at the head-waters of the 
Missouri, the valley of the Columbia, and the 
shores and harbors of Puget Sound. 

The engineers are setting their stakes from Lake 
Superior to the Red River, and laborers with spade 
and shovel are following them. Imagination 
bounds onward over the prairies, across the moun- 
tains, down the valley of the Columbia, and be- 
holds the last rail laid, the last spike driven, and 
a new highway completed across the continent. 

I think of myself as being upon the locomotive, 
for a run from the lakes to the western ocean. 

Our starting-point on the lake is 600 feet above 
the sea. We gain the height of land between the 
lake and the Mississippi by a gentle ascent. Tliir- 
ty-one miles out from Duluth we find the waters 
trickling westward to the Mississippi. There we 
are 558 feet above Lake Superior. It is almost 
a dead level, as the engineers say, from that point 
to the Mississippi, which is 552 feet above the 
lake at Crow Wing, or 1,152 feet above tide-water. 
The distance between the lake and Crow Wing i^ 
about a hundred miles, and the country is so level 


that it would be an easy matter to dig a canal and 
turn the Mississippi above Crow Wing eastward 
into the waters that reacli the sea through the St. 

The Leaf Hills are 267 feet higher than the 
Mississippi, and the ascent is only seven feet to 
the mile, — so slight that the engineers on the 
locomotive reckon it as level grade. These hills 
form the divide between the Mississij^pi and the 
Ked Eiver. Straight on, over the level valley of 
the Eed River, westward to tlie summit of tlie 
rolling prairies between the Red River and the 
Missouri, the locomotive speeds its way. Gradu- 
ally we rise till we are 2,400 feet above tide- 
water, — the same elevation that is reached on 
the Union Pacific 250 miles west of Omaha. 

A descent of 400 feet canies us to the Missouri. 
We wind up its fertile valley to the richer bot- 
tom-lands of the Yellowstone, over a route so level 
tliat at the mouth of the Big Horn we are only 
2,500 feet above tide-water. The Yellowstone 
flows with a swifter current above the Big Horn. 
We are approaching the mountains, and must pass 
the ridge of land that separates the Yellowstone 
from the upper waters of the Missouri. It lies 
950 miles west of Lake Superior, and the summit 
is 4,500 feet above the sea. Through the entire 
distance, thus far, there have been no grades great- 
er than those of the Illinois Central and other 


prairie railroads of the "West. Crossing tlie Mis- 
souri we are at tlie back-l)one of the continent, 
depressed here like the vertebra of a hollow- 
hacked horse. We may glide tlirongh tlie Deer 
Lodge Pass by a grade of fifty feet, at an altitude 
of only 5,000 feet above tide- water. 

Mr. Milnor Itoberts, civil engineer, approached 
it from the west, and this is his description of 
the Pass : — 

" Considered as a railroad route, this valley is re- 
markably favorable, the rise froni Deer Lodge City 
to the pass or divide between the waters of the 
Pacific and Atlantic being quite gentle, and even 
on the last few miles, the summit, about 5,000 
feet above the sea, may be attained without em- 
ploying a gradient exceeding fifty feet to the mile, 
with a moderate cut. The whole forty miles from 
Deer Lodge City to the summit of the Pocky 
]\Iountains by this route can be l:)uilt as cheaply as 
roads are built through prairie countries generally. 
A little more work will be required in passing to 
the east side from this side, down Divide Creek to 
Wisdom or Big Hole Piver ; but the line Mill be 
liighly favorable on an average all tlie w.'iy to the 
Jefferson Fork of the Missouri Piver. This favor- 
able pass comes into connection more particularly 
with the Yellowstone Valley route to the main 
Alissouri Valley. A remarkable circumstance con- 
nected with this pass will convey a very clear view 


of its peculiarly favorable character. Private par- 
ties engaged in gold mining, in tlie gold-fields which 
exist abundantly on both sides of the Rocky 
Mountains, have dug a ditch across this summit 
which is only eighteen feet deep at the apex of the 
divide, through which they carry the waters of 
* Divide Creek,' a tributary of the IVIissouri, across 
to the Pacific side, where it is used in gold- 
washing, and the waste water passes into the 
Pacific Ocean. This has been justly termed high- 
way robbery." 

There are half a dozen passes nearly as low, — 
Mullan's, Blackfoot, Lewis and Clark's, Cadotte's, 
and the Marias. 

Going through the Deer Lodge Pass, we find 
that the stream changes its name very often be- 
fore reaching the Pacific. The little brook on the 
summit of the divide, turbid with the washings of 
the gold-mines, is called the Deer Lodge Creek. 
Twenty-five miles farther on it is joined by a 
small stream that trickles from the summit of 
Mullan's Pass, near Helena, and the two form the 
Hell Gate, just as the Pemigewasset and Winni- 
pesaukee form the Merrimac in New Hampshire, 
receiving its name from the many Indian fights 
that have taken place in its valley, where the 
Blackfeet and Nez Perces have had many a battle. 
The stream bears the name of Hell Gate for about 
eighty miles before being joined by the Blackfoot, 


■which flows from the mountains in the vicinity of 
Cadotte's and Lewis and Clark's Passes. 

A little below the junction it empties into the 
Bitter Root, which, after a winding course of a 
hundred miles, is joined by the Flathead, that 
comes down from Mathead Lake and the country 
around Marias Pass. The united streams below 
the junction take the name of Clark's Iliver, wliich 
has a circuitous course northward, running for a 
little distance into British America, then l)ack 
again through a wide plain till joined by the 
Snake, and the two become the Columl^ia, pouring 
a mighty flood westward to the ocean. The line 
of the road does not follow the river to the boun- 
dary between the United States and the British 
Possessions, but strikes across the plain of the 

The characteristics of Clark's River and the 
surrounding country are thus described by Mr. 
Roberts : — 

" Clark's River has a flow in low water at least 
six times greater than the low-water flow of the 
Ohio River between Pittsburg and Wheeling ; and 
while its fall is slight, considered with reference 
to railroad grades, it is so considerable as to afford 
a great number of water-powers, whose future 
value must be very great, — an average of eleven 
feet per mile. 

" Around Lake Pend d'Oreille, and for some miles 



westward, and all along Clark's Eiver above the 
lake as far as we traversed it, there is a mag- 
nificent region of pine, cypress, hemlock, tama- 
rack, and cedar timber, many of the trees of prodi- 
gious size. I measured one which was thirty-four 
feet in circumference, and a number that were 
over twenty-seven feet, and saw liundreds, as we 
passed along, that were from twenty to twenty-five 
feet in circumference, and from two liundrcd to 
two hundred and fifty feet high. A number of 
valleys containing large l)odies of this character of 
timber enter Clark's River from both sides, and 
the soil of these valleys is very rich. Clark's 
Eiver Valley itself is for much of the distance 
confined by very high hills approaching near to 
the stream in many jjlaces ; but there are suffi- 
cient sites for cities and farms adjacent to water- 
powers of the first class, and not many years can 
elapse after the opening of a railroad through this 
valley till it will exhibit a combination of in- 
dustries and population analogous to those which 
now mark the Lehigh, the Schuylkill, the Sus- 
quehanna, and the Pomroy region of the Ohio 
River. Passing along its quiet scenes of to- 
day, we can see in the near future the vast 
change which the enterprise of man will bring. 
That which was once the work of half a century 
is now the product of three or four years. Indeed, 
in a single year after the route of this Northern 


Pacific Railroad shall have l)een determined, and 
tlie work fairly begun, all this region, now so calm 
and imdisturbed, will be teeming with life instilled 
into it by hardy pioneers from the Atlantic and 
from the Pacific. 

" Passing along the Flathead River for a short 
distance; we entered the valley of the Jocko River. 
The same general remarks concerning Clark's 
River Valley are applicable to the Flathead and 
Bitter Root Valleys. • The climate, the valleys, the 
timber, the soil, the water-powers, all are here, 
awaiting only the presence of the industrious 
white man to render to mankind the benefits im- 
planted in them by a beneficent Creator." 

The entire distance from Lake Superior by the 
Yellowstone Valley to the tide-waters of the 
Pacific below the cascades of the Columbia will 
be about eighteen hundred miles. It is nearly 
the same distance to Seattle, on Puget Soimd, by 
the Snoqualmie Pass of the Cascade Range. 

The Union Pacific line has had no serious ob- 
struction from snow since its completion. It has 
suffered no more than other roads of the country, 
and its trains have arrived as regularly at Omaha ♦ 
and Sacramento as the trains of the New York 
Central at Buffalo or Albany. That the Northern 
Pacific road will be quite as free from snow-block- 
ades will be manifest by a perusal of the following 
paragraphs from the report of Mr. Roberts : — 

220 THE SEAT OF EMrillE. 

" There is cviflence enough to show that the lino 
of road on the general route lierein described will, 
in ordinary winters, he much less encumbered with 
snow wliere it crosses the mountains than are the 
passes at more soutlierly points, wliicli are mucli 
more elevated above the sea. The difference of 
five or six degrees of latitude is more tlian com- 
pensated l)y the reduced elevation above the sea- 
level, and the climatic effect of the warm ocean- 
currents from the equator, already referred to, 
ameliorating the seasons from the Pacific to the 
Eocky ^fountains. An examination of tlie ])rofile 
of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines 
between Onialia, on the Missouri Eiver, and Sacra- 
mento, California, a distance of 1,775 miles, shows 
that there are four main summits, — Sherman 
Summit, on the Pdack Hills, about 550 miles 
from Omaha, 8,235 feet above the sea ; one on the 
Rocky Mountains, at Aspen Summit, about 935 
miles from Omaha, 7,463 feet ; one at Humboldt 
Mountain, about 1,245 miles from Omaha, 6,076 
feet ; and another on the Sierra Nevada, only 
105 miles from the western terminus at Sacra- 
mento, 7,062 feet ; whilst from a point west of 
Cheyenne, 520 miles from Omaha, to Wasatch, 
970 miles from Omaha, a continuous length of 
450 miles, every portion of the graded road is 
more than 6,000 feet above the sea, being about 
1,000 feet on this long distance higher than tlie 


liighest suinniit grado on the Northern Pacific 
liailroad route ; whilst for the corresponding dis- 
tance on the Northern Pacific line the average 
elevation is under 13,000 feet, or three thousand 
feet lower than the Sherman Summit on the Pa- 
cific line. 

" On the Union Pacific road the profile also 
shows that for 900 continuous miles, from Sidney 
westward, the road has an average height of over 
5,000 feet, and the lowest spot on that distance 
is more than 4,000 feet above the sea, whereas on 
the Northern route only about sixty miles at most 
are as high as 4,000 feet, and the corresponding 
distance of 900 miles, extending from the mouth 
of the Yellowstone to the valley of Clark's Kiver, 
is, on an average, about 3,000 feet lower than 
the Union Pacific line. Allowing that 1,000 feet 
of elevation causes a decrease of temperature of 
three degrees, this would be a difference of nine 
degrees. There is, therefore, a substantial reason 
for the circumstance, now well authenticated, that 
the snows on the Northern route are much less 
troublesome than they are on the Union Pacific 
and Central Pacific routes " (Report, p. 43). 

That the Northern Pacific can be economically 
worked is demonstrated by a comparison of its 
grades with those of the line abeady constructed. 
The comparison is thus presented by Mr. Eob- 
erts : — 


"The grades on the route across through the 
State of Minnesota and Territory of Dakota to 
the Missouri Eiver will not be materially dissimilar 
to those on the other finished railroads south of it, 
passing from Chicago to Sioux City, Council Bluffs, 
etc. ; namely, undulating within the general limit 
of about forty feet per mile, although it may be 
deemed advisable, at a feAV points for short distan- 
ces, to run to a maximum of one foot per hundred 
or fifty-three feet per mile. There is sufficient 
knowledge of this portion of the route to warrant 
this assumption. And beyond the Missouri, along 
the valley of the Yellowstone, to near the Bozeman 
Pass, there is no known reason for assuming any 
higher limits. In passing Bozeman Summit of 
the Belt Eange, and in going up the eastern side 
of the Eocky Mountains, it may be found advisable 
to adopt a somewhat higher gradient for a few 
miles in overcoming those summits. This, how- 
ever, can only be finally determined after careful 

The highest ground encountered between Lake 
Superior and the Missouri Elver, at the mouth of 
the Yellowstone, is only 2,300 feet above the sea ; 
the low summit of the Eocky Mountains is but 
little over 5,000 feet, and the Bozeman Pass, 
through the Belt Eange, is assumed to be about 500 
feet lower. The height of the country upon which 
the line is traced, and upon which my estimate of 


cost is based, may be approximately stated thus, 
beginning at Lake Superior, going westward : — 


To Dakota Valley, . 

. 300 

Yellowstone River, 


Along Yellowstone, . 

. 400 

Flathead Valley, . 


Lewis or Snake River, 

. 200 

Puget Sound, . 


Average 1 
above th 

e sea. 

1,200 feet. 







Compare this with the profiles of the finished 
line of the Union and Central Pacific roads. Prop- 
erly, the comparison should be made from Chicago, 
the eastern water terminus of Lake Michigan, of 
the Omaha line. Tliere are, on that route, approxi- 
mately, as folio ,7S : — 


From Chicago to Omaha, 

. 500 

Near Cheyenne, 


Cooper's, . 

. 100 

Promontory Point, . 



. 406 

Reno, .... 




Sacramento, . 


San Francisco, . 

. 100 

Chicago to San Francisco 


Average height 
above the sea. 

1,000 feet 









" On the Northern Pacific line there need be but 
two principal summits, whilst on the other there 
are four, the lowest of which is about a thousand 


feet higher than the highest on the northern route. 
If, therefore, the roads were the same length be- 
tween the Pacific waters and the ofreat lakes and 
navigable rivers east of the Rocky Mountains, the 
advantage would be largely in favor of the North- 
ern route ; but this actual distance is three hundred 
and seventy-five miles less, and the equated dis- 
tance for ascents and descents in its favor will be 
very considerable " (Report, p. 45). 

From the explorations and surveys already made 
by the engineers, it is believed that there need be 
no gradient exceeding sixty feet per mile between 
Lake Superior and the Pacific Ocean. If such be 
the fact, it will enable the company to transport 
freight much more cheaply than the central line 
can carry it, where the grades are one hundred and 
sixteen feet to the mile, over the Sierra Nevada 
Range. To those who never have had time to ex- 
amine the subject, the following tabular statement 
in regard to the power of a thirty-ton engine on 
different grades will be interesting. An engine 
w^eighing thirty tons will draw loaded cars on dif- 
ferent grades as follows : — 

On a level 


• • • 

94 cars 

10 feet 


mile ascending 

. 56 " 

20 " 



40 " 

30 " 


• • 

. 30i" 

40 " 



25 " 

60 " 


• • 

. 20^'' 

60 " 



17 " 


70 feet 


mile ascending 

. 15 cars. 

80 " 

• • 

13 " 

90 " 

• • 

. 11^'^ 

100 " 

• • 

10 " 

110 " 

(( u 

• • 

. 8i" 

120 " 

• • 

6 " 

A full car-load is reckoned at seven tons. It 
has been found in the operation of railroads that 
an engine which will move one hundred and sev- 
enteen tons on a grade sixty feet per mile will 
move only about fifty tons on a grade of one hun- 
dred and sixteen feet. A second glance at the 
diagram (p. 48) shows us that the sum of ascents 
and descents on the line already constructed must 
be vastly greater than that now under construc- 
tion ; and inasmuch as it is impossible to carry a 
load up or down hill without costing something, 
it follows that this road can be operated more 
economically than a line crossing four mountain- 
ranges, and the ultimate result will be a cheapen- 
ing of transportation across the continent, and a 
great development of the Asiatic trade. 

Throucjhout the entire distance between Lake 
Superior and the Pacific Ocean along the line, the 
husbandman may turn the sod with his plough, 
the herdsman fatten his flocks, the lumberman reap 
the harvest of the forests, or the miner gather 
golden ore. 

A Bureau of Emigration is to be established by 

10* o 


the company, which will be of invaluable service 
to the emigrant. 

Many persons in the Eastern and Middle States 
are depirous of moving to the Northwest, but it is 
hard to cut loose from old associations, to leave 
home and friends and strike out alone upon the 
prairie ; they want company. The human race is 
gregarious. There are not many who care to be 
hermits, and most of us prefer society to solitude. 

This feature of human nature is to be kept in 
view, and it will be the aim of the Bureau of Emi- 
gration to offer every facility to those seeking new 
homes to take their friends with them. 

Upon the completion of every twenty-five miles 
of road, the company will be put in possession of 
forty sections of land per mile. The government 
will hold the even-numbered sections, and the 
company those bearing the odd numbers. 

The land will be surveyed, plotted, and the dis- 
tinctive features of each section described. Emi- 
gration offices are to be established in our own 
country as well as abroad, where maps, plans, and 
specifications will be found. 

One great drawback to the settlement of the 
prairie lands of Illinois and Iowa has been the 
want of timber for the construction of houses. 
Persons with limited means, having only their own 
hands, found it hard to get started on a treeless 
prairie. Their first work is to obtain a house. The 


Bureau propose to help the man who is anxious to 
help himself on in the world, by putting up a port- 
able house for him on the land that he may select. 
The houses will be small, but they will serve till 
the settler can get his farm fenced in, his ground 
ploughed, and two or three crops of wheat to mar- 
ket. The abundance of timber in Minnesota will 
enable the company to carry out this new feature 
of emigration. 

It will be an easy matter for a family from 
Lowell, another from ^lethuen, a third from Ando- 
ver, a fourth from Heading, a fifth from Haverhill, 
to select their land in a body and start a Massa- 
chusetts colony in the Seat of Empire. 

Far better this method than for each family to 
go out by itself. Going as a colony they will car- 
ry the moral atmosphere of their old homes with 
them. They will have a school in operation the 
week after their arrival. And on Sabbath morn- 
ing, swelling upward on the summer air, sweeter 
than the lay of lark amid the flowers, will ascend 
the songs of the Sunday school established in 
their new home. Looking forward with ardent 
hope to prosperous years, they will still look be- 
yond the earthly to the heavenly, and sing, — 

'• My heavenly home is bright and fair, 
Nor pain nor death shall enter tliere." 

This is no fancy sketch ; it is but a description 
of what has been done over and over a<>ain in 


Oil 10, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and all the Western 
States. The Northern Pacific Eailroad Company 
want their lands settled by an industrious, thrifty, 
energetic people, who prize everything that goes 
to make up the highest grade of civilization, and 
they are ready to render such help as no colonies 
have yet had. 

The land will be sold to actual settlers at low 
rate&, and on liberal terms of payment. Tlie 
portable houses will be sold at cost, transported 
on the cars, and set up for the colonists if they 
desire it. 

The Bureau will be put in operation as soon as 
it can be systematically organized, and I doubt not 
that thousands will avail themselves of its advan- 
tages to establish their future homes near a rail- 
road which will give the shortest line across the 
continent, marked by low gradients, running 
through the lowest passes of the Eocky Moun- 
tains, through a country capable of cultivation all 
the way from the lakes to the Pacific. 

Am I dreaming ? 

Across this belt of land between Lake Superior 
and the Pacific lies the world's great future high- 
way. The physical features of this portion of the 
continent are favorable for the development of 
every element of a high civilization. 

Take one more look at the map, and observe the 
situation of the St. Lawrence and the lakes, fur- 


nisliing water-carriage for freight half-way from 
ocean to ocean, — the prairies extending to the 
base of the Eocky Mountains, — the one summit 
to be crossed, — the bays, inlets, and harbors of 
the Pacific shore laved by ocean currents and 
warmed by winds wafted from the equator to the 
Arctic Sea. Observe also the shortest lines of 

The geographical position is in the main axial 
line of the world's grand commercial movement. 
San Francisco and Puget Sound are the two west- 
ern gateways of the continent. Eapid as has 
been the advancement of civilization around the 
Golden Gate, magnificent as its future may be, yet 
equally grand and majestic will be the nortlieru 
portal of the great Eepublic. Not only will it be 
on the shortest possible route between England 
and Asia, but it will be in the direct line between 
England and the Asiatic dominions of Eussia. 

Wliile we are building our railroads westward 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the Emperor of 
Eussia is extending his from the Ural Mountains 
eastward, down the valley of the Amoor, to 
open communication with China and Japan. The 
shortest route of travel round the world a few 
years hence will lie through tlie northern section 
of this continent and throus^h Siberia. The 
Himalaya Eange of mountains and the deserts of 
Central Asia will be impassible barriers to rail- 


rcaa3 between India and China, or Central Europe 
and tlie East ; but the valley of the Amoor is fer- 
tile, and there is no fairer section of tlie Czar's do- 
minions than Siberia. From Puget Sound straight 
a^^xoss the Pacific will be found, a few years hence, 
the shortest route around the world. 

Farm-houses dot the landscape, roses climb by 
cottage-doors, bees fill the air with their humming, 
bringing home to their hives the sweets gathered 
from far-off prairie-flowers ; the prattle of children's 
voices floats upon the air, the verdant waste be- 
comes an Eden, villages, towns, and cities spring 
into existence. A great metropolis rises upon the 
Pacific shore, where the winter air is laden with 
the perfume of ever-blooming flowers. 

The ships of all nations lie at anchor in the 
land-locked bays, or shake out their sails for a 
voyage to the Orient. Steamships come and go, 
laden with the teas of China and Japan, the cof- 
fee of Java, the spices of Sumatra. I hear the 
humming of saws, the pounding of hammers, the 
flying of shuttles, the click and clatter of ma- 
chinery. By every mill-stream springs up a town. 
The slopes are golden with ripening grain. The 
forest, the field, the mine, the river, alike yield 
their abundance to the ever-growing multitude. 

Such is the outlook towards the future. Will 
the intellectual and moral development keep pace 
with the physical growth ? If those are wanting, 


the advancement will be towards Sodom. The fu- 
ture man of the Northwest will have American, 
Norse, Celtic, and Saxon blood in his veins. His 
countenance, in the pure, dry, electric air, wdll be 
as fresh as the morning. His muscles will be iron, 
his nerves steel. Vigor will characterize his every 
action, — for climate gives quality to the blood, 
strength to the muscles, power to the brain. In- 
dolence is characteristic of people living in the 
tropics, and energy of those in temperate zones. 

Tlie citizen of the Northwest will be a freeman. 
No shackles will bind him, nor will he wear a lock 
upon his lips. To the emigrant from the Old 
World the crossing of the ocean is an act of eman- 
cipation ; it is like the Marseillaise, — it fires him 
with new hopes and aspirations. 

"Here the free spirit of mankind at length 

Throws its last fetters off, and who shall place 
A limit to the giant's unchained strength, 

Or curb his swiftness in the forward race ? 

For like the comet's way through infinite space, 
Stretches the long untravelled path of light 

Into the depth of ages ; we may trace, 
Distant, the brightening glory of its flight, 
Till the receding rays are lost to human sight." 

I do not look with desponding eyes into the 
future. The nations everywhere, — in Europe and 
Asia, — the new and the old, are moving onward 
and upward as never before, and America leads 
them. Eailroads, steamships, school-houses, print- 
ing-presses, free platforms and pulpits, an open 


Bible, are tlie propelling forces of the nineteenth 
century. It remains only for the Christian men 
and women of this country to give the Bible, the 
Sunday and the common school to the coming mil- 
lions, to insure a greatness and grandeur to Amer- 
ica far surpassing anything in human history. 

It will not be for America alone ; for, under the 
energizing powers of this age the entire human 
race is moving on towards a destiny unseen except 
to the eye of faith, but unmistakably grand and 

I have been an observer of the civilization of 
Europe, and have seen the kindlings of new life, 
at the hands of England and the United States, in 
India and Cliina; and through the drifting haze of 
the future I behold nations rising from the dark- 
ness of ancient barbarism into the light of modem 
civilization, and the radiant cross once reared on 
Calvary throwing its peaceful beams afar, — over 
ocean, valley, lake, river, and mountain, illuming 
all the earth. 

Situated where the great stream of human life 
will pour its mightiest flood from ocean to ocean, 
beneficently endowed with nature's riches, and 
illumed by such a light, there will be no portion 
of all earth's wide domain surpassing in glory and 
grandeur this future Seat of Empire. 

Cambridge : Printed by Welch, Bigelow, and Company. 

via Niagara Falls. 



Prom Boston and New York to Chicago, connect- 
ing there with all the great Railways, 
North, South, and West. 

Pullman's Palace, Hotel, Drawing-Room, and 
Sleeping Cars on Express Trains. 


Freight taken through by the " BLUE LINE " 

without breaking bulk, and in as short 
time as by any other line. 


P. K. RANDALL Boston. 

CHARLES E. NOBLE, .... New York. 
HENRY C. WENTWORTH, . , Chicago, 


St, Paul and Pacific Railroad Company. 



1,000,000 A.cres of Land, 

Located along their two Railroad Lines, viz. : From St. Paul, via St. Anthony, 
Anoka, St. Cloud, and Sauk Rapids, to Watub ; and from St. 
Anthony, via Minneapolis, ^Vayzata, Crow River, 
Waverly, and Forest City, to tho West- 
ern Boundary of tho State. 



And ore aU within easy distance of the Railroad, in the midst of considerable 
Settlements, convenient to Churches and Schools. 

Inducement to Settlers. 

The attention of persons whose limited means forbid the purchase of a 
homestead in the older States, is particularly invited to these lands. Tiie 
farms are sold in tracts of 40 or 80 acres and upwards, at prices ranging from 
5?G.OO to )$ 1000 per acre. Cash sales are always One Dollar |)er acre less 
than Credit sales. In the latter case 10 years are granted if required. 

Example. — 80 acres at ijfi 8 00 per acre, on long credit, — S 040.00. A part 
payment on the principal is always desired, but in case the means of the set- 
tler are very limited, the (Jompiny allows him to pay only One Year's Interest 
down, dividing tho principal in ten equal annual payments, with seven per 
cent interest each year on the unpaid balance : 

Int. Prin. 

Int. Prill. 

1st payment . . . 

$44 80 


payment . . 

. $ 17.lt2 * ()1 

2d " ... 

. 40.82 $G4 



. . 13.44 (i4 

3i " . . . 

a5.84 G4 



. . 8.9G (U 

4th " ... 

. 313(3 64 


• • 

. . 4.48 04 

6th " . . . 

2G.28 G4 




6th «' ... 

. 22.40 G4 

The purchaser has the privilege to pay up any time within the 10 years, 
thereby saving the payment of interest. 

The same land may be purchased for ;i;! 560.00 cash. Any other information 
will be furnished on application in person, or ny letter, in English, French or 
German, addressed to 


First Divisiou St. Paul & Pacific R. K. Co., 


Southern Railway. 



All trains on the New York Central Hudson Rirer liailroad, and all traina 
on the Erie Hallway, form sure and reliable connections at Buffalo with the 


All the great railways in the Northwest and Southwest connect at Chicago, 
Toledo, or Cleveland with this Line. 

Palace, Drawing-Room, Sleeping Coaches daily between New York and 
Chicago, through wituout ciianoe. 


The following lines transport freight between Boston, New York, and prin- 
cipal points in New England to Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, and principal 
points in the Southwest and Northwest, toithout break of bulk or tranter. 



Passengers or shippers of freight will find it to their interest to call on the 
Agents of these Lines. 


GenH Western Pass'r J9ff% QeiiH Superintcvdent, 

CMcago, lU. J. A. BURCH, Cleveland, O. 

OcnH Eastern Pass-r •Ag't^ 
BuiTalo, X. Y. 


The GREAT Northern Line and most direct route from 

BOSTON and ALL POINTS in New England to 



All points West, Northwest, & Southwest. 


the most elegant from Boston, and SPLENDID DRAWING- 
ROOM CARS run on every express train, connecting 
on the Grand Trunk Railway with 

Pullman's Palace, Hotel, and Sleeping Cars; 

this being the only line affording such comfort and luxury 
to the passenger between the East and West. 



National Despatch. Ijine. 

Freight taken for Chicago, St. Louis, and all points West 

without breaking bulk or transfer, in as short 

time as any other line. 

' K^" For full information relating to time contracts, Tickets, &c., 
&c., please address or call at 

No. C5 Washington Street (Sears Building), Boston. 
LANSING MILLIS, General Agent. 

(Moutreal Office, No. 30 Great St. James St.) 
(Neu' York Office, No. 9 Astor House.) 

Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad. 

The line of this road is from St. Paul, the head of navigation on the Mis- 
Bissippi River, to the head of I,ako Superior, a distance of 140 miles. It con- 
nects at St. Paul with each of the It ...^ .incs o'' railroad traversing the vast 
and fertile regions of Minnesota in all dirertions, ami converging at St. Paul- 
It connects the commerce and business of the Mississippi and Minnesota 
Rivers, the California Central Railroad, and the Nortbi^rn Pacific Railroad, 
with Lake Superior and the commercial system of the great lakes, and makes 
the outlet or commercial to the lakes, over which must pass the com- 
merce of a region of country second to none on the American continent la 
capacity for production. 

The land grant made by the government of the United States and by the 
State of Minnesota, in aid of the construction of this road, is the largest in 
quantity and most valuable iu kind ever made in aid of any railway in either 
of the American States. 

This grant amounts to seventeen square miles or sections [10,880 acres] of 
land for each mile of the road, and in the aggregate to One Millioii* Six 
Iluiidrcd aiitl TIiirty«tAvo Tliou-saiid Aci*es of Land. 

These lands are for the most part well timbered with pine, butternut, white 
oak, sugar maple, and other valuable timber, and are perhaps better adapted 
to the raising of stock, winter wheat, corn, oats, and most kinds of agricul 
tural products, than any equal quantity of land in the Northwest. 

These lands are well watered with running streams and innumerable lakes , 
and within the limits of the land belonging to the Company there is an abun- 
dance of water-power for manufacturing purposes. 

A glance at the map, and an intelligent comprehensloa of the course of 
trade, and way to the markets of the Eastern cities and to Europe, for the 
products of this section of the Nnrthwest, will at once satisfy any one who 
examines the question that the lands of this Company, by reason of the low 
freights at which their products reach market, have a value — independent 
of that which arises from their superior quality — which can hardly be over- 

Twenty cents saved in sending a bushel of wheat to market adds four dol- 
lars to the yearly product of an acre of wheat land, and what is true of this 
will apply to all other articles of farm produce transported to market, and 
demonstrates that the value of lands depends largely on the price at which 
their products can be carried to market. 


Iniraigraiits and Settlers 

at the most favorable rates, as to time and terms of 



President and Land Commissioner, Saint Paul, Minnesota. 







By Charles Carleton Coffin. Containing several Maps, 
showing steamship lines and routes of travel, and profusely illus- 
trated with more than 100 engravings, reproduced from pLoto- 
graphs and original sketches. Crown octavo. Morocco Clothj 
$ 3.00 ; Half Calf, $ 5.50 ; Library Edition, $ 3.50. 

" In Mr. Charles C. Coffin we have a traveller after the latest and best 
transatlantic pattern. lie has thrown himself thoroughly into the spirit of 
his age ond race ; yet, while loynl to the backbone, and indnri^ing to the full 
his country's claims to present grandeur and future pre-eminence, he has a 
corner in his soul for the merits of other lands, and is open to the lessons of 
Old- World wisdom. Rapid as was his flight, and superficial as was his pur- 
view of the multitudinous objects that diily crowded his path, his powers of 
observation are, we are bound to say, keen and Tiporous, and his judgments 
upon men and things both shrewd and impartial. Be it the aspects of nature. 


the historical monument'?, the national traits, or the social idiosyncrasies that 
come before iiim, we find him invariably alive to what is most beautiful or 
august or original or pi({uant, as tiie case may be. Ho is at all times happy 
in hitting off the salient features, or picking out the weak spots, in local life 

and manners The history of British rule in India, and the tokens of 

material and social advancement everywhere beside his path, are themes affer 
the American's own heart. We have never seen a more graphic or telling 
pketch of Anjilo-Indian life and characteristics within anything like the com- 
pass of Mr. Coffins tljing experiences .... Mr. Coffin's studies of life in 
China are eminently piquant and original. Notliing is too old or too new to 

escape his notice The wood -cuts interspersed among his pages de.servo 

a word of commendation. They are drawn witix vigor and truth, often show- 
ing touches of quaint and quiet humor. Altogether, if there is nrthing new 
under the sun. Our New ^V'ay Round the World shows there may be mucli 
novelty and freshness in the mode of telling even a thrice-told tale." — Sat- 
urday Review {London). 

" The author of this interesting and valuable tour of the globe starts from 
New York, visits every city of note in Europe, sails from Marseilles to Alex- 
andria, thence to Cairo, and Suez Canal, India, Chinn, and Japan, returning 
by the way of California. Through tliis wide field for observation and re- 
search, his keen habits of characterization, and his vivid powers of descrip- 
tion make him an exceedingly agreeable travelling companion. Mr. Coffin 
has the very happy faculty of giving to a really thrice-told tale of travel a 
freshness that carries the reader to the end of the volume with unabated 
interest, llis tour in the interior of the British possessions in India is full 
of interest, — and his elaborate pictures of China at the present time are 
valuable, showing the actual character of the people ; the tenacity of their 
prejudices, which appear to resist all innovation from ' outside barbarians,' is 
most graphically depicted, and is worthy the attention of our politicians and 
speculative philanthropists. The book on the whole is a valuable addition to 
our native literature, written as it is from a distinctive American stand-point 
view of foreign nations. Numerous spirited designs, illustrative r.f habits 
and manners, adorn the work, together with maps in abundance." — JV. Y. 

"A model record of travel, over fields comparatively unknown. It com- 
bines, in a remarkable degree, skill and judgment in the selection of facta 
and points, with clearness, accuracy, and proportion in their statement : a 
natural ease and grace of expression, with a genial spirit, and a broad, true 
sympathy with everything human. A very large amount of instructive and 
attractive matter is compressed in its pages. The illustrations, too, are nu- 
merous, and all in admirable keeping with the narrative. In these, and in 
the clear, fair, readable type, the publishers have well done their part. 

" We confess to a deeper, and consciously healthier interest in the perusal 
than in the reading of any similar volume. Very heartily, therefore, do we 
commend the book to the winter-evening family circle, sure that it will in- 
struct and charm alike both young and old." — JV. Y. Christian IVorld. 

" Thr book has many excellent illustmtions, and is written with all the 
loveliness and instructiveness for which ' Carleton ' became famous during 
the war, as a war correspondent of the Boston Journal. The book is gossipy 
and entertaining in a high degree, and will interest young and old." — JVeic 
York Evening Post. 

*#* For sale by all booksellers, or sent, post-paid, to any address, by 
Vie Publishers, 


124 Tremont Streei, Boston. 


A volume of Personal Ob?ervntion with the Army and Navy, from 
tlie first Battle of Bull Run to the Fall of Richmond. 1 vol. 8vo. 
With Steel Portrait of the Author, and numerous Illustrations. 
Cloth, $3.50 ; Sheep, $4.50. 

From Senator Yates, of Illinois. 

.... From the accuracy with which you rel.*»tc tliose incidents which fell 
under my personal observation, I am persuuded that tlie whole volume forms 
a very valuable additiou to the historic literature of the heroic iipe of the 
Republic. I am, sir, your obliged friend, IIICU'D YATES. 

*^* For sftle by all Booksellers. Sent, post-paid, on receipt oj" price 
by the Pu' ishers, 

FIELDS, OSGOOD, & CO., Boston. 



A Book for Boys. By " Carleton." 1 vol. IGmo. Illustrated. 


*' It is written by one of the beat of the war correspondents, ' Carleton,' 
of the Boston Journal, whose opportunities for observing all the celebrated 
battles of the war were unsurpassed. The book is really a history of the first 
year of the war, and describes the principal battles of that period, — Bull 
Run, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Pittsburg Laiiding, Columbus, New Mad- 
rid, Island No. 10, and Memphis, in part of which the writer was, and all of 
which he saw." — Buffalo Express. 

*** For sale by all Booksellers. Sent, post-paid, on receipt of price 
by the Publishers, 

FIELDS, OSGOOD, & CO., Boston. 


From August, 1861, to November, 1862, with the Army of the Poto- 
mac. By " Cauleton." 1vol. 16mo. illustrated. $1.50. 

" * Carleton is by all odds the best writer for boys on the war. His ' Days 
and Nif^hts on the Battle-Field ' made him famous among the young folks. 
To read his books is equal in interest to a bivouac or a battle, and is free from 
the hard couch and harder bread of the one, and the jeopardizing bullets of 
the other. To be entertained and informed, we would rather peruse ' Fol- 
lowing the Flag ' than study a dozen octavo volumes written by a world- 
renowned historian." — ImlianapoUs Journal. 

*^* For sale by all Booksellers. Sent, post-paid, on receipt of price 
hy the Publishers. 

FIELDS, OSGOOD, & CO., Boston. 


1 vol. 16mo. Illustrated. $ 1.25. , 

Clement, Clinton Co., Illinois. 
Mr. Carleton. 

Dear Sir, — Is " Winning His Way '' a true story ? 

Is the story published in book foi-ni ? , 

Where does Paul live ? 

I am very much interested in the story, but my father thinks it is all fic- 
tion as he calls it. 

If you will answer this you will oblige a boy ten years old, who has read it 

four times, and who means to read it again when I go over to Aunt Leach's. 

Paul's ardent aduiirer, 

April 16, 1870. . . 

Boston, May 7, 1870. 
John W. Scott. 

My Dear Young Friend, — I am very much gratified to hear that you aro 
so much interested in '• Winning His Way," which has been published in 
book form by Messrs. Fields, Osgood, & Co. 

You ask if it is a true story. I will tell you about it : I knew a brave boy 
who went into the army and fought just as Paul fought, who was left on the 
field for dead, and who was taken to a rebel prison, and I had him la mind all 
the time I was writing the story. 

That is all true about painting the pigs, and shutting the school-houFo 
door, and tying the hay in front of the old horse's nose. 

So you can tell your father that the things did not happen just in the or- 
der they are given in the book, but that I tried to make the story true to 
life. Your friend, 


" A story of a poor \restern boy who, with true American grit in his com- 
position, worked his way into a position of honorable independence, and who 
was among the first to rally round the flag when the day of his country's peril 
came. There is a sound, manly tone about the book, a freedom from nam- 
by-pamby ism, worthy of all commendation." — Sunday School Times. 

" One of the best of stories for boys." — Hartford Cuurant. 

*.** For snJe hy all Booksellers. Sent, post-paid, on receipt oj" price 
by the Publishers, 

FIELDS, OSGOOD, &; CO., Boston.